The Words of the Sayre Family
Pennsylvania Summer Camp 2001
The Pennsylvania Summer Camp expanded significantly this year. Three sessions were held from Aug. 6-25. The first two were at Camp Shehaqua in Northeastern PA and the final week was at Laurel Hill State Park, near Pittsburgh in Western, PA.
As in years past, each week was organized and staffed by parents. In all over 100 families from 10 states participated. That translates to over 500 people, 375 of whom were children. Our goals have always been: (1) to help our children inherit the understanding the Divine Principle offers and accept it as their own; (2) to feel and experience Godís Heart of Joy and Sorrow; (3) and to see Unificationist families together creating and modeling our faith and commitment to living other centered lives.
Special thanks must be given to Chris & Haydee Ching who handled all the registration and tons of details for the two weeks at Shehaqua. Bruce & Betsy Bonini and Robert & Kiyoko Pickell did so much work prior to Camp, during Camp and in closing down as well. A big thank you as well as to Chris Jordan who cooked fabulous meals for our 12 days at Shehaqua! Brian Sabourin, the Youth Pastor from New Jersey was a true blessing this year and added an entire new, dimension to our work.
Our hats are off to Jim & Hiromi Stephens, Henri & Loretta Schauffler, and David Caprara for taking up the banner and running the Laurel Hill Camp. Without these people, there would have been no camp at Laurel Hill this year.
The amazing thing about Camp is that we all work to provide the platform and structure for God to work and He does! God touches each heart directly and personally. These are experiences that can never be taken from these young hearts. The excerpted reflections from momís & dads and kids of all ages testify to the reality of God touching their lives, of the value and meaning of the Divine Principle and just how important and incredible the lives and work of our True Parents are. Our greatest debt of gratitude goes out to them.
Next year? Wow, this will be hard to follow. If you are interested in starting a family style camp in your area or would like to contribute and participate in next yearís camp(s), contact any of the people listed below.
Rob & Sally Sayre: email@example.com
Bruce & Betsy Bonini: firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert & Kiyoko Pickell: email@example.com
Chris & Haydee Ching: firstname.lastname@example.org
Noah & Kathy Ross: email@example.com
Henri & Loretta Schauffler: Hgschauff@aol.com
Jim & Hiromi Stephens: firstname.lastname@example.org
David & Collette Caprara: Davidcap@aol.com
Comments from the adults
What was the best experience?
* My best experience was being able to be here as a family, knowing and seeing each one of my daughters making friends, hearing DP, the candlelight vigil with other BCís, being outdoors in nature, walking and seeing the deer and bears.
* Probably the overwhelming feeling of love that Iíve felt consistently for our second generation throughout this week. I am grateful God has given me this opportunity.
* Seeing the Kingdom of Heaven take root in our High School group in their maturity and courage and desire to stand up as role models and their commitment to pure love, the principle and True Parents.
* My best experience is to be here with my wife. With her Iím whole.
* It was wonderful to be in the older childrenís lectures. I drank lots of new truth. I feel refreshed and also very tired. How does True Father do itóalways keep going?
* Working with the Jr. High group was a tremendous experience, although I wish I had better skills. It was a source of great inspiration and encouragement for me to see the original spiritual beauty in these children and the support they are getting through the experience the Camp provides.
* My two-sentence reflection is that this is the best way to educate our second generation. All the other things (PLA, IRFF, 2nd Gen. Workshops, etc.) are all very good, but this experience should be their root, year after year.
What is the most important thing you learned?
* The most important thing I learned was to continue to keep on trusting and loving and encouraging our 2nd generation. They are the hope and the fruits of my sacrifice, my husbandís, our parents and True Parents and all human history.
* God is sometimes so easy to seeóit hasnít felt like that at all recently.
* That the third blessing is wealth and technology, so now I feel I am working to really gather theses things to advance these teachings and love throughout the world.
* As usual, I learned a lot from talking to other parents and hearing their experiences and viewpoints, but now I am learning a lot from the older blessed children as well.
New goals and determinations
* There is a lot I can do to help the 2nd generation. I want to start preparing to teach DP again. I also want to start or help start a regional workshop, training and activity center available for year round programs like this and many other kinds of things.
* To make the Camp in PA forever and always year round so everyone can feel Godís True Love and know the Messiah.
* To believe that God wants me to go beyond my own smallness and reach out... To believe I can speak and be the one God is using now... To look for Godís needs and wants to be satisfied... To really help True Parents and give them each day of my life.
High School Group Leaders
Kids going into 10th grade and up were assigned to be the Group Leaders and assistants for the Jr. High and 5th-6th grade lecture groups. This was a new experience for them and they handled this with such poise and dedication, it was amazing. There were 27 kids in the first week of Camp and 15 stayed on for the second week. They contributed so much to this yearís experience.
* When my group slept at the flagpole underneath the stars. We had a really good time because usually the time we spend as a group is very structured or organized. But to just talk and become closer to my group was good. And I think the place and people you sleep with are closer to you than just talking with them in lecture.
* Being a group leader was really a good experience for me. I was put into the position and I feel I really got through to some kids.
* The most memorable experience was probably the waterfall. I took my group there and that was one of the first times we were really united. Also the square dancing was fun.
* I really enjoyed the candlelight prayer. The testimony really means a lot and struck on issues that are important to me.
* The campfire was especially nice for me. I felt really united with everyone and I loved being a counselor. I think that I learned more than they (my group members) did.
What is the most important thing you learned?
* I learned to be an answer box. When kids have questions I want to be able to pop out the right answer for them to give them inspiration.
* None of the Principle that was taught was entirely new to me, but itís been a while since I heard a DP lecture so I forgot some things. It was just really beneficial to hear it all again to refresh my memory.
* The Last Days lecture was good because it touched on some topics that I didnít know about so much. Also learning about our age being that of the Fourth Adam and the meaning of the 2nd Generation. However, the topic, which I think was most important for my group, was the Fall/Temptation lectures. They are dealing with a lot of boy/girl issues and I was surprised how many questions were asked of us. Right now, for them the most important issue is what they see all the time. These real life issues they struggle with every day.
* I think in both weeks I came to a deeper realization of the principle in general. I came to really learn the reality of the spirit world. I finally understood that it is a very real place, not just a state of mind or something. I also realized through the lecture that I personally really have to keep a connection to God all through the year and that would really help me through my difficulties.
New goals and determinations
* I hope to keep my spiritual/prayer life strong, as it is this summer, during the school year. Itís sometimes hard to step away from our busy external lives. I also hope to read the DP, the whole thing through, by the end of this year.
* Whenever I come to camp itís a cleansing experience. All year Iím in school & surrounded by Satanís world. But when I come here, itís Godís territory. When I come I get released from bad habits Iíve picked up so when I leave I want to carry the momentum with me continuing to remember to carry BC pride proudly.
What worked best? What could be better?
* The unique aspect of Camp Shehaqua is that the program is organized so there is a lot of time for each person. I think itís good and maybe bad. I think the only improvement needed is for more time to be spent before camp starts with the counselors.
* I hope for next year you can teach the parents how to deal with teenage BCís. Many are working with this age group for the first time and have no clue how to deal with them. They mean well, but sometimes they make decisions that donít help. I donít know how that would work. It is only a suggestion.
Comments from the Juniors
What was the best experience you had at camp this year?
* Well, one of the best experiences was the candlelight prayer. I could really relate to the testimony, "Iím yours." I have lately been letting God know that I really want to be his true daughter and that he can work through me. Towards the end of my prayer I took a moment to just sit and listen and God spoke to me. He told me to keep smiling, because it brings Him joy.
* The best experience I had this year was the campfire where I had smores, because I never had them before. It tasted good!
* I liked free time and hanging out with other kids and sharing their experiences.
* The best experience at Camp I had this year was being able to find out who I am inside. When I am at Camp, people donít care how you look; they take the time to find the real you. BCís open their hearts and love you like they really mean it. I can go home now with a new start knowing this must sound stupid but I didnít know who I could really be if I opened my heart. I thought I could be nothing but shy but now I know I was wrong! I know my friends and Camp will be my friends for life.
* My best experience was swimming in the river and riding the rapids.
What is the most important thing you learned in the workshop classes?
* I learned about the Fall and many things to avoid temptation and how not to fall and for us all to be the couples like Adam & Eve werenít.
* I think the most important thing I learned was about the life of Jesus. I also learned to stay pure and that you should appreciate that youíre a BC because our parents worked hard for us to be born pure and without original sin.
* I learned that there are certain things that only the Messiah can do and things that you must do. It helped me to remember what God wants me to accomplish and reminded me of what the True Parents have done.
* Well, I know for sure that Iím absolutely determined to come again next yearóno matter what it takes. This camp is the highlight of my year! I always have something to look forward to!
What new goals or determinations do you have for the future?
* To go through school without giving in to temptation and to listen to God wherever I go.
* Next year some of my friends and I are thinking of going to the PLA.
* I want to go to PLA. I want to keep my purity before marriage and be true to my husband when Iím married. I also want to be a Camp counselor in the future.
* Some new goals I have are to be more loving towards my sister and parents.
* I tend to be somewhat rebellious towards my parents, my dad especially. My goal is to keep my position as the child and respect their judgment.
What parts of camp worked best? What could be better?
* I think Camp should be longer. It is so awesome to be here. And some of these wonderful people I only get to see when I come here, and I would really like to spend more time with them.
* The arts & crafts and sports worked the best.
* I really enjoyed the candlelight prayer, but I feel that it is too short.
* I think the meals worked good and the lectures, but I think the hike and the lectures worked best.
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