Betty Bernardo made her way to camp as a little girl because her pastor, Robert Dasher, encouraged her to go. “Lutheridge stole my heart that first summer,” she shared. Betty continued attending summer camp as a camper and then served as a counselor for three summers. “I met my best friend at camp. My daughters went to camp and I always try go back for reunions.” Betty went on to teach mathematics, and often found herself wishing the children in her classroom could experience a week of summer camp.
“Every child needs that experience – a place to take off the mask.” While in our world of covid today that means something quite different, it remains the way Betty thinks about it. “Children need a place to drop the facade of being the cool kid or a place they aren’t known as the poor kid, or whatever label the world gives them. Children need a place of unconditional love and acceptance. In all my years teaching, I have seen so many children who need that. It is so heart-breaking to not be accepted. That is why I contribute as much as I can to the ministry.”
Betty’s life was changed the day her pastor encouraged her to go to camp. She found unconditional love and acceptance and continues to make it possible for other children to find the same. We invite you to think about the children in your neighborhood or community who might need that same message of welcome and acceptance. Encourage them to attend a week of summer camp.
Encouraging Camp Stories from NovusWay Ministries PDF Download to use in your church.