YATW Blog 3 Teen Haven

Sattera Mark                                        Blog Post 3                                            You and the World

     In my English class were doing a project called “You and The World”. For this project we had to chose a topic that we were passionate about. I chose to learn more about the foster care system. (For more about that you can go to my first and second blog post).  It’s many children that don’t have a place to call home or have real parents. I feel for these children because I know how it feels to have a parent missing. When I first explored this topic I was confused on what to do. Then, I decided that I should get involved with a camp called Teen Haven. Teen Haven is a Christian camp that is located in Brogue Pa. I have been volunteering there as a Junior counselor since January and I will continue to do so in the summer. So far I have been there four times.  It was an amazing experience to be a mentor to girls from different cities. At camp they’re girls from Philadelphia, Lancaster, and York. It’s nice to get out of the city and meet new people.

      Starting the project was difficult. It seemed like it would be impossible to do. This was just not some ordinary school project. This project forced us to get out of our comfort zones and get into the world. This sounded scary at first but my teacher Ms. Dunn assured me that I was capable of successfully doing this project.  After my pep talk with Ms. Dunn I decided that I should try to get some things started. I talked to one of My Camps leaders, Chanea Whittington. She informed me about the Leadership group called “Restore”. I became active in that group and attended a leadership retreat. There we became comfortable with other leaders and prepared ourselves for the upcoming camp dates.

       Doing this project is probably one of the most productive things I’ve done in my life. The stories of some of the girls I’ve met will forever have an impact on my life. I’ve heard stories about rape, death, foster care, placement, and more. These stories are heartbreaking and left many tears in the eyes of the people who heard them. This camp is truly a haven. It feels like home and it’s a place for the girls to get away from all their problems at home. I love the atmosphere there. It’s warm and friendly and I know that girls love it too. I gives me joy to see them return to the camp with smiles on their faces. By the way they act you could never tell that they are going through so much. Sometimes I feel as if they made a bigger impact on me that I’ve made on them. They taught me to be grateful and be content. I feel blessed to have my mom because many of the girls at camp don’t. Some don’t even have a place to call home.

        When I first started volunteering I was nervous. I’m still very young and some girls that come to camp are older than me. That was a little intimidating. I also had to become stern. I’m a laid back person so it was hard for me to lead. I had to come out my comfort zone.That was something I struggled with at first but, soon overcame it by constantly coming to camp. I’ve learned so much by being there. I learned how to be a leader and develop speaking skills. Being there I’m still learning and planing to do more. During the summer I would love to lead discussion or run activities. I’m expecting to have an even better summer there.


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