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I Am Full! Grateful, Joyful, Thankful!

Hi, my name is Chris Bridgwater and I am thankful for three great summers at Camp Westminster. I have lived in England all my life and have always wondered what it was like over here in the States. So when my friend told me about an organization called Camp America that sends University students out to America to work at summer camps, I jumped at the chance. After signing up and going through the interview process, I decided to go to one of the recruitment fairs that allows you to meet people for the camps and maybe get hired on the spot. This seemed like the perfect chance for me to find the perfect camp somewhere hot like California! As it happens, there was a camp that was going to be there that was based in Southern California with a massive pool, and a lake, and a climbing wall and so much stuff to do and have fun with. This one looked like just the adventure I wanted so I took note of the name and where they would be set up in the hall so I could get there straight away and try and snag a place before they filled up. As I was waiting in line outside the anticipation was killing me. I’m not a very big people person so I knew I had to pull out all the stops to impress. As I walked in I headed straight to the table where they were and stopped right in front of it to read a small note: “Camp Such-and-such has already hired all the counselors they need so did not come.” Feeling let down and upset I decided to have a look at the other camps that had actually turned up. I turned to my left and right next to me stood Jim and Suzanne waiting for someone to talk to them. I said “Why not?” and introduced myself. When talking to Jim and Suzanne about the camp I could tell they were passionate about it and it sounded like a pretty fun camp. Then when I heard that it was a Christian camp I was a little put off, for at this point I was not a Christian. I had been raised in a family who was open to letting you believe what you want and after going to a Catholic school for seven years where Christianity was forced upon you, I wasn’t too keen on it. But I figured I would give it a chance and be open because they seemed like nice people and a fun camp. After having a quick look at the other camps around I decided to go for it and have as much fun doing it as I could. After two weeks of camp where everyone is so nice and helpful and open and where everyone is willing to help and where the kids have such an amazing time, I really saw the effect that camp could have on people. This was an amazing place and I was really starting to like it here. This was when one of my campers said something to me that I will remember for the rest of my life. It was during my second ever Closing Counsel Fire he turned to me and said “Chris, God loves you and I love you because you have been like a Father to me this past week and I have never felt that way about anybody else before.” It was at this point that I knew I was in the right place. I am so thankful for the blessings we receive each day from campers and have loved being a part of a community that positively impacts the lives of so many.

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