Life Skills Camp: Tom’s Experience
Preparations for our 2016 Life Skills Camp for older orphaned teens are in full swing! Orphanages are selecting which children to send, mentors are being chosen, and class sessions and field trips are being planned. One of last year’s campers, Tom, wrote this letter to his sponsors about the impact the camp had upon him, and we wanted to share it as we found it to be so touching.
Dear respected Sponsor and friend:
When I left Beijing, I was very saddened because the time spent was very short and I did not understand to treasure it. Time is short. There is a saying: looking at time, it looks long. However one does not know when will it be the last time. Only when it is time to say goodbye, then one understands that life has to be treasured.
I got to know many new friends who taught me many things. It was only after I met them that I learned to grow up faster.
This saying: “if you have never been to the Great Wall of China, you are not a great man” makes me witness the true understanding and gain self-confidence. When I saw my companions walk so slowly, I decided to go ahead by myself. After I took a few steps, I was called back by one of the group members. She told me that we came as group, and we had to proceed as a group. Being united as a team was what we had to do together.
Our team leader stood out and said: “Even if one climbs to the peak, this person cannot become a great man. A great man is one title given by people in a group.” This was how I learned that unity could not be separated from a group of people.
When we spent our day on the beach, all of us were reluctant to leave the beach. The ocean seemed to be crying when I first came to the beach.
Even though there were no tears on everyone’s faces, our hearts seem to be sobbing. The tears from our hearts cannot be seen. As we could not let the tears in our hearts to flow out, we played like crazy to comfort ourselves.
Everyone treated everyone else like their family without much consideration. I saw how an exact family should behave in a big family setting. It was the beach giving me such happiness. When one is fortunate, it is called life.
Everyone cried on the last night of the camp knowing they had to depart. These were tears of joy, moved by the beautiful time spent together. Where is the happiness without tears of joy? I really wished that time could stop at this moment after seeing everyone’s performances and signing off.
I spent these eight days happily in Beijing. I learned many things. Thank you very much for letting this happiness continue eternally.
Goodbye, Beijing. You have given me much in these eight days. I learned many things which I did not know before. I love you for giving me such wonderful memories. This blessing will remain in my brain forever.
Love all of you.
August 8, 2015
Isn’t that a wonderful letter? We received many more like Tom’s about how very much our Life Skills camp impacted those who attended, especially when it came to finally understanding that their lives have purpose.
Right now, we are trying to find sponsors for the 2016 campers. While 12 of the campers are already fully funded at $350 apiece, there are over thirty more waiting. Sponsors can pay all or a portion of the $350 sponsorship. No donation is too small to make a difference!
Sponsors are encouraged to write letters of support to their campers prior to the camp. The moment when the campers received these letters last year was truly special; most of these orphaned teens had never received a personal letter in their lives and were thrilled! It was truly something that they treasured, and we look forward to making that happen for them again.
Here are just a few of the faces of the kids waiting to be sponsored for our 2016 Life Skills Camp:
Please consider making a donation to one of these campers or one of the others on our sponsorship page to give them the same life-changing opportunity that Tom had last summer!