Wholeness doesn’t stop short of mental health.
At Laity Lodge, the groups gathering together tried to model the kind of safe environment they hope to create for campers.
“I haven’t gone to a work function in a really long time where I began to rejuvenate like I did at Laity Lodge,” Laurie said. “There was a special synergy…a kind of vibe in the space that allowed people to be vulnerable. The most magic happened in the coming-together and the shared sense of urgency and commitment.”
“The time at Laity Lodge profoundly shifted my thinking about mental, emotional, and social health,” said Ann Gillard, a volunteer with ACA. “We were able to talk, reflect, and have unplanned conversations about camp-related well-being.”
Dave Brown, camp director of Mountain Camp set in Northern California, was also in attendance, and said one of his highlights on top of the work that was accomplished was forging personal connections in the “in-between moments.”
“It was a nice reminder that the foundation of most good work,” Dave said, “whether in organizations, youth programs, or research, comes through authentic relationships between individual people.”
John of Camp HOPE said that the space allowed them, “to depart from distractions and think, ‘What’s next?’”
Next is summer. The camp season is here, and everyone will be expectantly watching for what works, learning what doesn’t, and most importantly, allowing more young people from across the nation access to the healing they truly need.
*If you are struggling with suicidal ideation, know someone who is, or need emotional support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.