At-Risk Youth Build Resiliencey in the Wilderness

by Camp Amnicon
Vetted
Enjoying some community time in the wilderness.
Enjoying some community time in the wilderness.

Tell me a story…

Dear Friend of Camp Amnicon,

     As President of the Board of Directors this year – a year filled with ups and downs, challenges and celebrations – I continue to be amazed at how Amnicon keeps on bringing hope and healing to young people.

     Year after year, canoe trip after canoe trip, young people experience the love of God in Christ and their lives are changed for the better.

     When I asked the camp staff to tell me a story about what happens to young people when they are at Amnicon, the stories came. You see, each child is a story.

     One story in particular stays with me because it sums up the story of many children.

     Right from the first day of camp Pax was feisty and unhappy. Eventually we learned he was unhappy with himself. His sense of self-worth could not be any lower. And his life at home was painful.

      After his canoe trip was over he made this comment: “I’m used to being yelled at, but the guides never yelled at me.”  Maybe for the first time in his life people treated him as if they cared about him and loved him. His guide reported that when he hugged him good bye, Pax wouldn’t let go.

     Hundreds of young people this summer experienced Christian community and had the opportunity to grow in their faith journey. Over the years, thousands of young people have benefited from Camp Amnicon.

     2016 marks the 50th anniversary of Amnicon. One of the best ways I know to honor these 50 years of ministry and service is to invest in moving Amnicon into the future.

     You are part of the Amnicon story. Your generous support of this important work with young people means you are involved with their lives. Today your help is needed to keep Amnicon strong.

     The annual fund keeps fees for a week of camp within reach for young people. Every young person who takes one of our trips benefits from your gift. Those who cannot afford to pay any fee are welcomed with open arms – because of you.

     Will you consider giving a special gift to Amnicon today? Whatever you can give, be it $25, $50, $100 or $1,000 or more, will bring life-changing experiences to young people.

     Thank you for your encouragement and financial support. By giving you will experience a great sense of satisfaction knowing you are helping young people grow up to lead full and meaningful lives.

Having fun swimming.
Having fun swimming.
Learning how to build a fire with a staff member.
Learning how to build a fire with a staff member.

Links:

A camper and their guide bonding
A camper and their guide bonding

The people who come to Amnicon are changed because of you and your support. Youth and families alike experience real community and have an opportunity to be their true selves here. One of our at-risk groups who has been coming every year always has such life-changing experiences because of your support. They are a group from the inner city and do not have many opportunities to be surrounded by God’s creation. They truly embrace the opportunity to be real, be challenged, and be changed through their experiences here.

One of their adult leaders wrote the following about their experience on the Flambeau River:

“Thank you so much for supporting Camp Amnicon! Our Trip down the Flambeau River this week was amazing. At the beginning of the trip, everyone was afraid – of bugs, canoes, the rapids, and sleeping outdoors – but by the end of the week, were all paddling down the rapids with huge smiles on our faces. Camp really gave us an incredible opportunity to try new things and ourselves. We all learned that we are so much more capable than we ever imagined!”

Later, the adult leader went on to say “I think Amnicon is such a valuable experience for everyone – kids and adults alike.”

Because of your support, this group – and all of the groups that come to Amnicon – have the opportunity to learn that they are capable of things they never thought possible and are able to face their fears and grow as a community! Thank you so much for making it all possible!

Peace!

P.S. To hear more stories from campers and get all the updates from Camp, watch for our regular newsletter, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook updates—or stop by for coffee and let us thank you in person next time you’re in the Northwoods!

Paddling down a river.
Paddling down a river.
Hanging out at a campsite
Hanging out at a campsite
Paddling in whitewater rapids! Looks exciting!
Paddling in whitewater rapids! Looks exciting!
Having a blast swimming!
Having a blast swimming!

Links:

Dear Friend of Amnicon,

     An Amnicon staff member, Adam, recently reported a comment he heard at a campus ministry fair. Upon seeing that Adam was wearing an Amnicon ChiRho, Erik engaged Adam in conversation about his experience at Amnicon. He ended the conversation by saying “If I hadn’t gone to Camp Amnicon, I wouldn’t have come to college.”

     His life had been changed like many Amnicon campers over the last 50 years of ministry.

     I wondered what kind of home life Erik had. I have a pretty good idea of what it could be like since I know something of his neighborhood.

     His home life could have been one of poverty, where money is in short supply. Or where parents are so stressed out they have little time nor inclination to give him the loving attention and support he needs. Or where peer pressure at school and on the streets is luring him into trouble.

     Many of the kids who come to Amnicon are “at-risk” kids which means they are at risk of not making it into a thriving adulthood. They risk failing to finish school. They risk making poor decisions which will haunt them the rest of their lives.

     For many of them they truly do not know anything different than what they grew up with.

     What is it about the Amnicon experience that would lead a young person to change paths in life so dramatically?

     The answer to this question is clear because I know what happens on our trips. The young people are in unfamiliar surroundings, on a challenging and fun adventure, with a feeling of belonging to God, creation, and those around them.

     Erik experienced this caring community, developed confidence in himself and a connection to God and creation that led him to feel capable to do more than he could have ever imagined possible.

     Amnicon’s trips are adventures for young people – adventures on the rivers, on Lake Superior, and most of all, adventures in their spiritual journeys.

     This summer I anticipate 70 more youth than last summer. That’s great… but it also means an additional $50,000 in gifts to the annual fund will be needed to cover the cost of serving these kids.

     Did you know that every child who attends Amnicon receives campership help – that is, help in covering the cost of a week of camp?

     The full cost of a week at camp is $950 per child. The fee charged is $450, so that means gifts of $500 are needed for every fee paid. And there are many children who simply cannot afford to pay much at all, if anything, toward the fee.

     That’s why I’m writing you today. Will you help a young person come to Amnicon this summer by sharing a generous gift to the Annual Fund?

     Your gift of $950 will cover the cost of one child… $500 will join with the fee a child pays… and every size gift – $25, $50, 100 or more -- will make it possible for children to have adventures that save their lives.

     Make out your check to Amnicon. Complete the response card and mail your tax-deductible gift today. Or you can give on-line by going to amnicon.org/donate.

     Young people – many of whom are at-risk – will be coming to Amnicon this summer looking for the opportunity to be real, be challenged, and be changed for a life of new possibilities. Thanks for helping them.

     Sincerely,

     Alana Butler, Executive Director

P.S.    Please do your best to provide support for youth at-risk. Give as generously as you can today. You will find great satisfaction knowing you’re helping a young person find hope for the future.  Thank you.

Links:

Part of the Family
Part of the Family

When I read these words, written by Duane, a young boy who came back from one of Amnicon’s canoe trips, questions came to my mind.

I wondered what kind of home life he has. I have a pretty good idea of what it could be like since I know something of his neighborhood.

His home life could be one of poverty, where money is in short supply. Or where parents are so stressed out they have little time nor inclination to give him the loving attention he needs. Or where peer pressure at school and on the streets is luring him into trouble.

Many of the kids to come to Amnicon are “at-risk” kids which means they are at risk of not making it into a fulfilling adulthood. They risk failing to finish school. They risk making poor decisions which will haunt them rest of their lives.

For many of them they truly do need to be saved from this kind of home life. Another question I asked myself was, “What is it about the Amnicon trips that would lead a young person to say it saved his life”?

The answer to this question is clear because I know what happens on our trips. The young people are in new surroundings, on a fun adventure, surrounded by caring Christian people.

Duane experienced this caring community because he also wrote, “I got to share my thoughts with people… and grow a family.”

Amnicon’s trips are adventures for young people – adventures on the rivers, on Lake Superior, and most of all, adventures in their spiritual journeys.

This summer I anticipate 70 more youth than last summer. That’s great… but it also means an additional $50,000 in gifts to the annual fund will be needed to cover the cost of serving these kids.

Did you know that every child who attends Amnicon receives campership help – that is, help in covering the cost of a week of camp?

The full cost is $950 per child per week. The fee charged is $450 so that means gifts of $500 are needed for every fee paid. And there are many children who simply cannot afford to pay much at all, if anything, toward the fee.

That’s why I’m writing you today. Will you help a young person come to Amnicon this summer by sharing a generous gift to the Annual Fund?

Your gift of $950 will cover the cost of one child… $500 will join with the fee a child pays… and every size gift – $25, $50, 100 or more -- will make it possible for children to have adventures that save their lives.

Young people – many of whom are at-risk – will be coming to Amnicon this summer looking for the opportunity to get a new lease on life. Thanks for helping them.

Sincerely,

Alana Butler, Executive Director

Links:

Marissa is an impressive women. She is a minority living in the innercity where opportunities can be hard to come by. Amnicon has become a place for her to grow and learn more about herself. She has been coming to Amnicon for five years, two of which she was a student leader for the middle school girls. She has learned to step out of her comfort zone and become a leader for the girls in her group.

Marissa said the following to her guide one night,

"I've learned how valuable a positive attitude can be and how far optimism can go – and seeing how amazing it is when people sacrifice for each other. I don't like spiders and I am often scared of the rapids, but I know that I am safe here and when I show the girls that I am strong and can face my fears, it gives them courage to face their fears, too."

These are the leaders that Amnicon helps produce - leaders that help others grow and learn from their experiences.

"There is always a really honest, welcoming atmosphere here that makes camp just that much better." - Marissa

This is the environment that is possible because of your support of Amnicon. This is the atmosphere that creates great leaders who will go home and be leaders for change in their community.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Camp Amnicon

Location: South Range, WI - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.amnicon.org/​
Project Leader:
Leah Damon
Development Coordinator
South Range, WI United States

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