Finding Home at Summer Camp
What does the word “home” mean for most adults?
Some of us have multiple “homes”: the place where we live, the city where we grew up, and the house where our parents live. “Home” is where we feel safe and wanted, and we’re surrounded by people who love us.
“Going home” might mean heading across town or across the country.
Some of us grew up in difficult families, or we lost our parents, and we may have created “home” with our friends.
Or WE might be “home,” with grown children and grandchildren coming to visit us!
Now contrast these familiar scenarios with that of every orphanage graduate served by Last Bell – who doesn’t have the support a family naturally provides.
Young orphan-parented families struggle mightily and lack not just the practical help of a family, but the closeness and joy, too. With the arrival of any holiday time, most orphanage graduates are alone. When trade school students with families leave for the summer, the kids from orphanages are left in empty dormitories.
But orphanage graduates in Zhytomyr don’t have to be alone. Last Bell provides many holiday activities for them. And the most important of these is summer camp. There, each person is affirmed in the loving community that exists to show them love and help them thrive. Whether they’re a young teen or a twenty-something with a small child, our staff has a fun plan for their summer camp experience.
In a camp setting, they’re more open to developing relationships with our staff and with God.
Last Bell summer camp is like coming home.
At camp, orphan parents can relax and learn together while their children play like cousins. Older Last Bell youth who are trade school grads or in university help with the children. For a week, those babies, toddlers, and school-age kids have too many aunts and uncles to count!
For most of our Educational Outreach youth, camp is the first time in years (or ever!) that they’ll wake up in the morning surrounded by people who care about them.
When you donate to Last Bell, you’re supporting a community of hope!