Bearing One Another's Burdens: A Camp Wyoming Story
We want Camp Wyoming to be more than just a fun place to come for a retreat or a week of summer camp. The faith forming experiences that a person has at camp take on real meaning when they change that person’s life after they leave camp and head back to “real life.” The following story belongs to Hunter from Fountain City, Wisconsin. Hunter is a Zoology major at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County and first came to Camp Wyoming as a Pioneer camper. He continued coming to camp each year, and even completed the Leaders in Training program for high school students interested in becoming camp counselors. For Hunter, Camp Wyoming had a greater influence on his life than just for those weeks of summer camp. Camp Wyoming, he says, made him the person he is today. This is Hunter’s story:
“I have been a faithful follower of God since I have been able to cognitively think on the scale of what’s right and what’s wrong. Sadly, last year I was slowly seeing myself drift away from the teachings of God and Jesus Christ. God felt that happen and answered by having my good friend and the Director of Camp Wyoming call asking me to come and counsel for a week. I was thrilled to hear this news and jumped on the opportunity, accepting his offer. Camp Wyoming is a Presbyterian camp in the little town of Wyoming, Iowa, approximately four and a half hours away from where I live. It was a long trip, but it was the first thing I had committed to do in a long time.
“While I was there, I was greeted with open arms, seeing some of my old counselors who watched me when I was a young child. During the week, I was paired with two other counselors, and we had to watch over a group of kids. At first it was exhausting chasing the kids around, keeping order, and making sure they got along with each other, but then during the first time we sat down to sing to the Lord, something inside me felt right- something I had not felt in a very long time. From that moment on, I felt one with God again and felt more at peace than I have been in over a year. It was not about me! It was about God’s people! I learned that if I take other people’s burdens into consideration and help the person with that burden, I feel relaxed. That week at church camp was not just an opportunity to see old friends and get away from home; at first it was, but it did not conclude that way. That week made me closer to God than I have been in a long time.
“On the way home from camp, in Prairie Du Chen, I stopped along the way to help an elderly couple get their huge boat in the water. After I got home from camp, I took every opportunity to help anyone in any way I could, starting with our can drives and racetrack clean up. Before I went to camp I was just doing the minimum, but after I got back I was always there helping, even when it was not my week to help. Every Saturday, I got up to get to the racetrack at 6:15 to get an early start so people did not have to waste their weekends being there. Every time we had a fundraiser or a project to do, I was there to help. I finally learned the Law of Christ! ‘Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way fulfill the Law of Christ’ (Galatians 6:2). That week at camp did more than reunite me with God; it made me who I am today.”
Do you have a Camp Wyoming story you’d like to share about how your life was changed because of the time you spent here or the things you learned? We’d love to hear it! Email the camp office at firstname.lastname@example.org to share.