Every now and then, Susie Ma’am and I get an email that simply makes our day, if not our week.  Last Friday, we got the email below.  After looking it over, I realize that it is better than anything I would come up with on my own.  I hope you enjoy it.

Dear Susie Ma’am and Steve Sir,

I am sitting at work trying to focus but having no success! I have conflicting emotions as I write this. I am so excited to see my kids tomorrow. I have missed their hugs, their smiles and their quick wit (keeps me on my toes). Yet I am sad as well because it will be [my oldest son’s] last term with you as a camper (although I know he is looking forward to going back as a counselor)! J

When my husband and I decided to send our kids to Camp Champions oh so many years ago neither of us ever imagined the impact it would have on their lives (and us as well)! We went into it thinking ‘My, what a fun place. Maybe the kids will learn to some new skills and make a lot of new friends’. They did these things. However, it became so much more. It became a safe haven for them, away from all the demands they have the other 49 weeks of the year. In this environment, they have each thrived! It seems like so many activities want not only a piece of our children but ALL of  our children! Sports, band, school all demand so much more these days than they did when we were growing up. Soccer is year round, band takes up a month of precious summer and countless weekends. Homework can be insane. Camp takes them away from all of that for a short period of time. When I look at the pictures the word that comes to mind is ‘carefree’. It is wonderful to see those big smiles!

Like you, this is a big school year for us. [Our oldest] will determining his future college and [our daughter] will be attending high school. I know they will be going into this transition year with direction and purpose due to all the values and lessons they have learned being a part of Camp Champions. Knowing that gives me confidence as a parent as I help guide them through this time in their lives.

I remember something my aunt said to me when I told her I was pregnant with [my son]. She said, ‘You know, he doesn’t belong to just you and [your husband]. He’s part of a larger family and you will need to share him with all of us’! I took that to heart (for both of the kids) and have ‘shared’ them with our families. I am thankful that we made the decision to make Camp Champions part of our ‘family’ as well. We are all more enriched because of it!

[End of email.]

We were so pleased to think that we have been part of their family. Of course, we consider their son and daughter like family members (having attended camp for 8 years each), but we were touched that their parents saw us as having been part of their children’s maturation. For their children, success in college and high school is perhaps a daunting prospect, but it is gratifying to know that the skills they have developed at camp will put them on the right track.

Knowing that we can help our families is what sustains us for the 9 months with no camp. We can take pride in knowing that the benefits of summer camp extend far beyond the simple joys of being with camp friends and all the camp activities and traditions. It helps motivate us to improve and learn more.  We will miss your children, but we will be ready for them again next year.

With that in mind, we plan to savor the last three days of this summer!


Steve Sir



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