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Camp = Cheerleaders for Life

Imagine you are running a race through a town. A huge crowd of people line the sides of the route to cheer you on, and you hear them chanting your name. Your path is slightly shaded by some trees on the side of the road, and a cool summer breeze makes it a pleasant day for a race. When you start feeling thirsty, a water station with refreshing cold water to quench your thirst is always in sight. As you near the end of your route, you feel like your shoelaces have loosened and realize one lace is broken. You stop and a friend comes running up alongside you to hand you a new shoelace. A few hundred feet later you see a fellow runner trip over a pothole in the street. Another bystander helps them to their feet and administers first aid. As you reach the finish line, you hear more friends cheering. After you cross it, a huge crowd surrounds you with hugs and pats on the back. Now imagine a second race, but there are no cheers, no shoelaces, no friendly bystanders to help a runner who trips, and no hugs at the end of the race. While it is equally plausible to finish the race, the atmosphere is not the same. The route is not a setting for success. Camp provides the first atmosphere. We strive to be the cheerleaders and make campers feel supported, wanted, nourished, encouraged, and like champions. It is these places and experiences that create the memories that as adults, we look to for strength and hope. An alum writes, So many times over the years I have ‘been at camp’ in my thoughts and spirit, if only for just a moment. Those places were so important to all of us, guiding us, shaping us, into the people we have successfully become today. The endurance we learned back then, individually and as a group member helped us become ourselves. W.C. has been a BIG part of our growing lives as the folks I have run into over the years, some in distant places, have agreed when we’ve talked. (Quote by Sue Allerton Waldburger, The Touch of Influence: Camp Westminster’s First 75 Years, p. 153)

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