2014 Camplify Graduate, Courtney, reflects on her Camplify Journey
What skills did you learn as a young leader at Camplify?
I know the value of friendship; the relationships you have with genuine people that support your dreams and lifestyle are the most important people in your life. Even if they live worlds away, you should hold onto those people dearly and with every ounce of your being. I know how to make a good impression on someone when I meet them, and how to remember their name with an alliteration in my head. I know right from wrong, that you should always treat others the way you want to be treated, and that the last night of the summer surrounded by your favorite people next to the warmth and crackling of a campfire is a feeling that you can never forget once you've experienced it firsthand.
Is Camplify still relevant for kids today?
Kids are sponges. They take in their surroundings and eventually, they grow up and create a life and mindset out of the experiences that they are immersed in during youth. Firsthand, I can tell you that I use every bit of my camp experience in my everyday life.
Simply put, Camplify gave me camp. That what it boils down to - the importance of fellowship that camp gives to youth. Without camp, I would not be who I am today. People say that all the time about something they're passionate about, but really, camp gave me general knowledge, life skills, and moral standards that I did not get at home. As an only child in my home, I never grew up getting along with kids my age. Camp gave me an opportunity to hone my maturity and responsibility in an environment where I could learn to have fun like a kid surrounded by kids.
Where are you now?
I work for National Beta Club Headquarters in Spartanburg as the National Web and Graphic Designer. I volunteer at Spartanburg Humane Society as well as Lucky Pup Rescue as a dog foster. I also am an active member of Upstate Pride SC. I bought my first house a year ago.
I graduated from Mars Hill University with my Bachelor of Arts in Art (Concentration: Graphic Design) in May 2018. I graduated Outstanding Graduate of Art, summa cum laude, with minors in Studio Art and Art History.
I am confident in saying that I am a leader in my community and I would not be where I am today without the experiences that Camplify provided me.
Camplify parent, Sharon, reflects on her daughter's journey
My daughter was nominated for Camplify in the 4th grade. I was amazed this program existed. She started her journey by attending weekend camp at Kanuga in the fall, and then again in the spring. When I found out she would have the opportunity to attend a weeklong session over the summer, I was again amazed at the doors being opened for her. She embraced the opportunity for independence & loved being able to come home and share the experiences she had.
Leadership skills are constantly nurtured in Camplify, and during a 3 week camp session she truly had the opportunity to put her leadership skills to test. She spent weeks with campers and counselors from all over the world. There were times her leadership abilities shone brightly, and there were times she found great opportunities to further develop herself. Navigating those challenging periods has helped build her resiliency, communication, and compassion...The opportunities she has gained access to have developed her into a strong, active, positive member of our community.