By Jane Schaper
Editor’s note. The following essay is the second in a two-part series of testimonies written by participants in Camp Joshua Virginia 2014 (click here to read part one). Camp Joshua Virginia is sponsored by the Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL).
When I walked onto the camp grounds I was greeted immediately by the camp counselors. The whole place radiated joy and excitement. Everyone I met was just as open to learning and passionate about the pro-life movement as me.
Each speaker had something new to teach me on life and why being a young pro-lifer was so important. I learned everything I had been hoping to learn and so much more and made so many amazing friends. It was an experience I won’t soon forget.
The time spent at Camp Joshua would have been considerably less memorable if everyone I had the pleasure of meeting was not as welcoming as they were. They all made me feel as if I had known them for longer than a weekend. I also loved the excitement I got from each adult and how proud they seemed that I came. I was one among about 70 kids, but everyone there had a way of making me feel special and remembered.
As a teenager, it’s hard to be confident in your pro-life views when so many are telling you that you’re weird for having them. But going to this camp has really shown me that I am not the only pro-life teenager in the world and being outspoken about it is what I needed to be doing. Every teenager I met felt the same about abortion as me and some even taught me that being pro-life is cool.
The encouragement I got from everyone to be more active as a teenage pro-lifer was empowering! I hadn’t realized what I big part I had to play (even now as a 16 year-old). Being a part of this camp has really made me want to do more and recruit more people to the pro-life cause.
I was excited about every talk I went to, mostly because I fed off of how driven these speakers were. I felt so connected to them, even though I wasn’t the only one they were talking to. They had so much to offer and so much encouragement for us to get more active. They opened up topics about abortion and how to talk in a debate that I had never even thought about. They helped me find confidence when speaking about why abortion is wrong and I couldn’t be more thankful to everyone who spoke at Camp Joshua.
I am incredibly thankful for this chance to go. Also, I want to thank everyone who put this together and worked so hard to make it such a memorable weekend. It was a great first experience at Camp Joshua and I look forward to going back and making more amazing memories.
For more information about Camp Joshua VA visit www.campjoshuava.org