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Brush Off Your Shoulders in Camp

Last summer, Jerrod* was a seven-year-old child in the foster system, and you helped him learn how to play. This summer, like every summer, you will make it possible for at-risk children like Jerrod to attend our top-notch Summer Enrichment Camps. Through your generosity, families pay a fraction of what they would for comparable camps.

Camp Director David Switzer, known for his keen insight and compassionate demeanor, took Jerrod under his wing. Jerrod’s parents are in jail because they abused him, so attention from a young man like David was invaluable to Jerrod.

When Jerrod got frustrated during a kickball game, he threw a profanity-laced outburst aimed at another camper. 

David patiently pulled Jerrod aside and asked who his favorite athlete was. “(Jerrod) told me that Tom Brady was his hero. I asked him, ‘When Tom Brady gets sacked, does he throw a pity party and storm off the field? Or does he brush his shoulders off and move on to the next play?’ He assured me that Tom Brady would never cry and that he would brush off his shoulders and move on to the next play. I encouraged him to do the same and apologize to the camper he got angry with.” Jarrod took David’s advice—the child physically brushed off his shoulders and offered a genuine apology to the offended camper. 

Later, David saw Jerrod fall and scrape his knee. Instead of screaming, Jerrod got up, brushed off his shoulders again, and continued playing. Growth in resilience is a valuable trait kids learn at camp.

Through your generosity, Jerrod and his peers are not only provided with enriching experiences but also invaluable lessons in character development. Camp Administrator Teri Kwiatek says, “I want to introduce children to the gospel of Jesus Christ and let them know that God loves and cares for them.” You are providing this message of hope to children who need it most.

* Not his real name.

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