As a middle schooler and confirmand at Salem Lutheran (Orlando, FL), Maddie Kjosa learned her parents were divorcing. It was a very difficult time in her life. “When Pastor Julie told the confirmands, she was taking us to camp at Luther Springs, I so wanted to go,” said Maddie. “But I knew with my parents getting divorced that money was tight.”
Maddie shared her concerns with Pastor Julie, and to her surprise, she learned that scholarships were available. “How do I take advantage of that,” Maddie asked her pastor. Maddie completed the paperwork, and soon after, found herself at camp for the first time.
Maddie fell in love with camp immediately. “I loved the songs and the delicious food,” she shared, but camp went deeper than that for Maddie.
“Camp was the first time I felt like I personally connected with my faith,” she shared. Maddie had grown up in the church, but it was because someone else took her. She liked it, she just never thought of her faith independently from her parents.
“My parents and grandparents weren’t at camp telling me it was important,” but she knew it was important. She could feel the importance.
“It was the first time I made an independent connection to my faith, and it was during a really tough time in my life. I remember reading my Bible in the cabin and it felt like the Spirit filled me. I knew I didn’t have to fear my parent’s divorce because God was with me.”
Maddie needed camp that summer. Her pastor connecting her to a scholarship and the generosity of donors like you made camp possible for her. That first week set Maddie on a journey of camp leadership and now community leadership. Maddie continued to attend camp and returned to serve in Leadership Lab at Luther Springs and as a counselor for two summers. She now works full time in the communications and marketing field, while also helping NovusWay with social media part-time.
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