In all of our years running summer camp, this group of campers had the best times reuniting with each other after a long year of separation. They felt the connection, friendship, and happiness that we all yearned for. It made paradise a whole lot sweeter when CTL overnight camp happened last week for our adult campers!
They experienced everything from adaptive horseback riding, to catching the biggest fish, all the way to riding the big swing fearlessly. Our adult campers never cease to amaze us with what they can accomplish. Although we are sad that camp has come to a close, we are so thankful for all of the memories paradise shared with us along the way.
A Tale of Two Joyristas
Allison and Courtnee, two Joyristas from different cities, came together to conquer their fear of one of the most exhilarating parts about CTL: The Big Swing. They were both terrified at the thought of riding the big swing at the start of the week because Allison doesn’t enjoy heights, and Courtnee was scared about falling off. Throughout the week, both of these Joyristas mustered up the courage to not only ride the big swing, but enjoy it!
Courtnee looked over to one of our summer staff and said “I can’t believe I just did that” because she impressed herself and that is truly what CTL is all about! This was the first time these Joyristas had actually met each other because this was the first time Joyristas from every city in Georgia were able to attend overnight camp!
First Time Overnight
Fraser, a new camper to ESP, and especially to overnight camp, expressed to our summer staff that he in fact was not worried about taking on overnight camp because he “trusted the ESP process,” and that he was friends with the majority of the campers that came. He also said he was super excited to meet so many new friends along the way of his week at Camp Twin Lakes. It was an interesting perspective to hear because most campers are a little nervous about staying overnight, but for Fraser, this is where he felt most comfortable with his peers.
Just Keep Swimming, Swimming, Swimming
Dustin, an avid summer camper, and good friend to our staff, has always feared the water big time. He would always sit near it, and watch his friends splash and play games, but never wanted to be fully in the water.
The boys took a turn in the swimming pool at CTL, and Dustin told the staff he wouldn’t get in, but then something changed his mind. Before long, he had the confidence to splash alongside his friends and smiled this big the entire time. We love watching our campers grow confidence and make life-altering decisions on their own, it’s incredible!
Sydney the Cowgirl
Sydney was thrilled to attend CTL this summer, and reunite with some of her best friends that she hadn’t seen in over a year! This summer, CTL really meant a lot to her and her family because it would give her the transformative experiences to thrive in camp.
Her absolute favorite activity at CTL was horseback riding because it made her feel empowered to conquer anything. Sydney loved the horse she rode on, and with the adaptive saddle, she was able to feel safe and secure on top of one of the sweetest horses! Camp fosters new opportunities for our campers, and Sydney couldn’t get enough of her horse.
Paradise Comes to a Close
We say see you later to paradise because next year will in turn bring on these incredible transformations of our campers that we get to witness and then share with you all. This summer has been one for the books, and we are going to miss all of our campers in the ESP building, Adventure Camp, and CTL! It’s been a fun ride together, and we can only imagine what next summer will bring. Hip, hip, hooray to all of our campers for going above and beyond, and conquering it all this summer!