I just really wanted to say thank you so much again for putting together such an amazing program and giving lots of teenagers (including me) the opportunity to take part in it. Camp Awakenings was such a great and positive experience, and it really has changed my whole life.
The environment of laughing, happy people put together with all the music, light and dark moments really made it an experience to never forget. This week, especially during school, I noticed how much my attitude and perspective of life has changed for the better, and how it has improved my relationships with others.
When I was 9 years old, my oldest brother Tom passed away in a car accident. He was my biggest inspiration, and when I lost him, I lost myself too. Last year, my mum was diagnosed with depression, and I couldn’t even leave the house, because I had severe panic attacks. I didn’t go to school for a few weeks because I was so scared and sad. Even though eventually the panic attacks began to subside, I still had trouble leaving the house for too long. I made excuses to not go out with friends and even school was tough. So before camp, I’m not going to lie and say I was excited to go because truthfully, I was just worried about leaving home for so long that I wasn’t even thinking of how it could help me. But on the first night at dinner, as soon as I heard ‘I Love It’ come on and our group started to dance, I knew that I made the right decision to stay.
Camp Awakenings not only woke me up from the struggles I was going through; it also let me find myself, the person I hadn’t been able to find since I was 9 years old. You must hear this a lot, but camp really has changed my life for the better; I’ve become more positive, I see people as they really are, it’s made me believe in myself and is making me enjoy life to the full. I saw that a person who I thought was great was really just dragging me down with them, and now I surround myself with people who I know truly love and support me. I will always remember camp and all of the amazing people who were a part of it, and even though I know I will never be able to fully repay you, it would be my honour to help with next years camp as a Junior Leader. Camp and all the lessons I learnt on it will always be a huge part of me and I will treasure it’s memories forever.
Thank you so much again, and I hope you and your family are all well. :)