From the Desk of Joel Sieplinga
by Joel Sieplinga
Help kids make friends.
Model God’s Love.
These were the words I shared with the Overnight and Day Camp staff on their first days of Staff Training. That’s the job, and that is what we hope for every camper, but also every staff member, weekend group, and school who visit Camp Tecumseh. It’s a seemingly simple model that makes a profound difference.
According to studies, teenagers who have a close friend are less likely to experience anxiety and depression later in life. By modeling and leading with God’s Love, we aren’t ignoring our differences, but rather we’re saying that Loving our Neighbor is more important than any difference we might have.
Our world is increasingly challenging and divisive and while Camp Tecumseh is not immune to that, we also know that small steps can help to make our communities a better place. By helping kids (and adults) make friends and by modeling God’s Love, we believe we are equipping folks to navigate the difficult world around them.
As I walk around camp and hear the conversations happening and watch the friendships forming, I can’t help but be optimistic and thankful for Camp Tecumseh!