By Cara Gielski
At the beginning of August I had the privilege of attending Camp Esther, held in Utica, New York, as Leadership Team Captain. This was my sixth year coming to camp and each year I have been impacted and inspired in different ways.
Camp Esther is my yearly pro-life confidence boost. We discuss all the arguments and all the research. I am immersed in a culture of life filled with my pro-life peers and role models. It is inspiring to see the ways everyone is working for the movement. I leave energized and ready to keep fighting for every person’s right to life.
At Camp Esther you are plunged in everything the pro-life movement is and should be: loving, knowledgeable, joyful, and strongly committed to protecting human life. We know we have the answers to every pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, pro-assisted suicide argument and we know that we need to reach out to these people in love.
We discuss how to respectfully dialogue with those who don’t agree with us. We also spend time just enjoying being around other pro-lifers. It is so easy to make friends with the other passionate pro-life students.
One thing that I think is very important is that every year we hear a talk about post-abortive mothers. Most years a counselor gives the talk, but this year it was given by a woman who had had an abortion.
I think many pro-lifers may initially go through a period of anger towards women who have had abortions; abortion is such a horrific act that anger is natural. But when you are really, truly pro-life you will be able to reach out in love to post-abortive mothers who are also victims of the violence of abortion.
I believe that Camp Esther’s culture of love toward all the victims of the abortion industry has helped shape me as a pro-lifer.
During Camp each of us writes and presents a 2 minute talk on one of the life issues. Doing this helped my confidence in presenting the pro-life view to the world, and hearing all the other students speak is so encouraging.
At Camp Esther we are equipped to defend life in any situation. We are armed with facts, statistics, and personal testimonies. We are a community.
Friendships start forming from the first day. We leave with the conviction that it is our duty to do everything we can to uphold the dignity of human life.