Every year, one or more of these hard topics has come up in a Cabin Time that Josh was facilitating. A camper might mention their parents are getting a divorce, or that they are struggling with substance abuse, or they may be having doubts about God.
“I’ve learned that Cabin Time isn’t always the place to really dive deep into that one camper’s questions or struggles,” said Josh. “So sometimes I just thank them for sharing. Then that night or the next day, we will pull them aside and see if they’d like to talk more about it.”
According to Cary, talking one on one with a camper is as simple as a counselor offering to talk with a camper in between activities or while walking to a mealtime. “It’s a casual offer,” Cary said. “Where the counselor can say, ‘Hey, I’d love to chat with you about what you mentioned if that would be helpful for you.’”
Tyler Gullahorn, a Cabin 4 camper during summer 2023, said, “[Our cabin] would sometimes go down to the beach, on the Frio, and if you want to talk about any hard things, then we say this is the place to do it—to share that extra one percent.”
Gullahorn believes Cabin Time and his LLYC community have been two of the biggest factors in his spiritual growth.
Tyler Gullahorn (right) spends some time with Cabin 4 on the Frio.
“You kind of have that camp high where you feel super close to God, especially being able to share my story and how I feel about my faith,” said Gullahorn. “Then to hear input from others about their own faith. The counselors do a good job of looking at it from Jesus’ perspective and that really helps me.”
Gullahorn shared that a difficult part of leaving camp is trying to keep that “camp high” going. “It’s hard without always being surrounded by your cabinmates and the Canyon,” said Tyler, but reaching out to the other guys in his cabin throughout the year has been an effective way to continue in spiritual community. “They all live in Texas, and I live in Nashville, Tennessee. So, I’ll send them a text when I’m having a hard time, and just learning that they support me is really powerful.”
Camper Huffman agreed that hearing others talk about their own faith and viewpoints is a valued part of Cabin Time. “Everybody’s stories and experiences always put me in a different mindset. It gives me a different kind of perspective,” said Huffman.
This year, Huffman decided to bravely start praying for the group as they shifted into Cabin Time. With or without Taki-covered fingers, praying out loud in front of your peers can be daunting. “This year a lot of people didn’t want to pray [over Cabin Time], so I tried to do it … It’s always helpful when somebody else does it first, because then others will join,” said Huffman. Counselors will often pray for the group, but LLYC wants to offer the opportunity to campers who may want to stretch the boundaries of their spiritual comfort zone.