One of the reasons campers will tell us they love coming to SpringHill is because they can “leave the box they are in at home and really be themselves.” This is particularly true for teenagers, whether middle school or high school. They can feel trapped in a box at home or at school don’t know how to get out of it.
Boxes are expectations others have for a person whether they are good or bad. Such as “you are a star athlete” or “you are a partyer” or “you are a scholar”. It’s when these expectations no longer seem to fit who a young person believes they truly are that they feel “trapped in a box.” They don’t know how to shake it off. It’s especially painful when the box is negative and they’ve come to realize it and desperately want out.
When they come to SpringHill many register by themselves because it is a chance to start over. They meet new friends who don’t have them in any box. With an emphasis on “embracing all kids” regardless of who they are, loving them as people created in the image of God, our staff reinforce this freedom that kids feel in being themselves.
One of our staff shared how she had such a girl on her TST team. Early in the week this young woman left her group crying and her counselor went to see what was wrong. The counselor learned that this camper had felt put into a box at home that no longer fit but couldn’t find her way out of it.
Her counselor said to her “I’m going to stay with you until and help you through this.” Then she told her the great news “You do not have to be the woman the world says you are – you can be the woman God created you to be.”
This message began to sink in and the young woman returned to her team ready to experience camp. Later in the week this young woman put her faith in Christ, trusting Him to help her become all that He intended and created her to be. This is her first step in getting out of the box she desperately wanted out of and stepping into a new life, a life God intended for her to have and allowing her to become all He created her to be.