Making it to the top with orphaned youth: Educational Outreach camp
Camp donors: thank you again! Because of you, our students had a beautiful week in the mountains in August, and our family campers arrived home a few days ago. This break from the troubles of war was very welcome.
When we meet them, our students are working through teenage questions like Who am I? What’s my place in the world? And because they’re orphans, Will I fail because of my family history, or do I have a real future?
Camp can show our students how capable they really are. Staff member Katya shared these stories:
Rafting was a new experience for this group. Katya said “the fear was visible in their eyes” even before they started. But the staff paired them up and made sure they’d be safe. At the bottom, the students buzzed with stories about the thrills of their ride. Katya said it was “one of the most vivid memories of camp.”
Not all our students are strong or in good health, so our staff asked the organizers to find an easy hike. Partway up they realized their chosen trail was quite difficult. But every student reached the top! As they walked, our staff led a discussion encouraging our youth to persevere through challenges until they see the end results.
Another day was all about the culture and history of Ukraine. The leaders shared about Ukrainian ancestors, famous people from Ukraine, and all the progress in Ukrainian society. “We prepared traditional food together,” wrote Katya, and tried on traditional clothes “which were passed down from generation to generation.”
At camp, orphaned youth experience hourly attention and love, and they often open their hearts to God.
This trip helped our youth see themselves as beloved children of God who are truly capable of leading successful lives. Our staff shared this message not just in words, but by literally walking up a mountain beside them!
YOU made these foundational experiences possible. We’re so grateful.