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On Sunday afternoons in the summer, cars roll down the dirt road into Luther Springs with children who are full of excitement for a week of camp. Some of them have been to camp before, and some of them are new campers.

Brother and sisters Josh, Karlee, and Julia* were new campers last summer. Luther Springs counselors love new campers, and they were eager to see what Josh, Karlee, and Julia’s first impressions of camp would be. As the siblings began to settle into camp, the staff noticed some things about them. They didn’t seem to have enough clothes for the week, and they were very hungry at mealtimes. “It seemed they didn’t have all the same privileges in life that many other campers carried,” remembers Assistant Program Director Macy Kennedy. “But boy did they exemplify joy, awe, and wonder!”

Camp staff eventually learned that a family friend had paid for the siblings to come to camp for some time away from a difficult home situation. During that time away, Josh, Karlee, and Julia thrived. One of their favorite parts of camp was their counselors, who were fun, attentive, and listened to them. “God was at work in those relationships, revealing kindness, gentleness, and security,” Macy says. Luther Springs was a place for these new campers to feel safe and happy and not have to worry.

At the end of the week, when it was time to check out, Josh, Karlee, and Julia joyfully told their mom how much they loved being at camp. Knowing how vital their week of camp had been, the Luther Springs staff offered the siblings’ mother a camper scholarship to allow them to return for a second week. She accepted gratefully.

When their car rolled down the dirt road for their second week of camp, the siblings were so excited to see the Luther Springs counselors again. Now, they were experienced campers, and they welcomed others, including some new campers.

Thank you for your gifts to NovusWay Ministries, which allow new campers to become returning campers and allow all to experience a place of safety and happiness regardless of need.

*Camper names have been changed for their privacy and protection.