Camp Gave Me the Tools I Need

Jack didn’t know how to fit in, process his feelings, or accept help

Before camp, Jack never felt like he fit in. He was often the oldest in any of the groups he was in, and he felt like he was treated differently.

And, he didn’t know how to deal with his feelings.

“I refused to talk about how I was feeling,” Jack remembered. “I would try to figure it out on my own. Then I would have an outburst about something that happened a few days earlier. There would be a lot of yelling, and sometimes I would get violent.”

“My parents didn’t know what to do with me,” he continued. “Although I knew I needed help, I wouldn’t allow anyone to help me.”

Things finally came to a head when he was arrested and ended up in the care of the Department of Juvenile Justice. His parents found out about Fair Play and decided to enroll him at camp.

Jack adjusts to life at camp

“On my first day at camp, I felt accepted,” Jack said. “I felt that these people really wanted to help me and would stay beside me. They treated me the same as everyone else. They treated me like my age didn’t matter. They made me feel normal.”

“It took me awhile to trust my group,” Jack said. “But about halfway through my stay, I shared with my group something that I had never talked about before. The staff and the group really helped me work through my problem.”

Jack learns to talk about problems and find solutions

Today Jack has a good relationship with his parents and has learned how to deal with his problems. “Camp taught me how to talk about my problems and have a plan to work through them,” Jack explains. “Even when I get upset and yell, it’s over quickly. Camp gave me the tools I need to get through life.”

“Camp was the best place I could have gone,” Jack concludes. “My family says so too. Camp accepted me for who I was. It’s amazing!”