Camp Good Sam has always held a special place in my heart. After all, it was how I was introduced to Good Samaritan Community Services in the first place.
In the summers I always looked forward to returning to Camp Capers. Just by driving through the front gate, you get the sense that this place is truly special. After spending many wonderful summers there as a camper, I could not wait until I was old enough to be a counselor.
My 16th birthday finally came around, and I was ecstatic to learn that I would be counseling two sessions, along with attending one as a camper. After the three sessions, I was given the opportunity to counsel at the final session of the summer, Camp Good Sam. Not knowing what to expect, I was a little apprehensive. Little did I know, I was about to start a journey that would change my life forever.
That summer, Camp Good Sam became my favorite week of camp to counsel, not because I was changing the campers lives, but because they were changing mine. They were so full of life and eager to learn new things. Some had never been away from their family, while others were veterans, excited to share their favorite games and songs. Building relationships with these campers was so much different than the campers I had in my cabin earlier that summer.
They were joyful, and free, and completely up for a new adventure, even if it was a little bit scary. It was contagious, and as they left, you could only hope that they would one day beat the odds of poverty that surround our center on San Antonio’s near-West side.
Almost a decade later, I am working for Good Samaritan Community Services, and am seeing first-hand how big of an opportunity and blessing it is for these kids to experience a week at Camp Capers. The youth of Good Sam are the same joyful campers I remember, but the reality of their everyday surroundings is hidden beneath their care-free smiles. The truth is, if these kids did not have Good Sam in their lives, they would be more likely to fall victim to the statistics often defining this neighborhood. Camp Capers gives them a glimpse of a world beyond that. A world filled with hope, and opportunity.
This year, we are gearing up to send more than 125 youth, ages 8-18, to Camp Capers for another life-changing week. This is where we need your help. A week at camp requires a lot of supplies, which families living in poverty are unable to afford. Our campers are in need of everyday camp supplies, such as clothing and toiletries, in order to spend a week at Camp Capers.
We cannot do this work without you, our faithful supporters. Join us today, and help us give the youth at Good Samaritan Community Services a summer they will not forget. Help us change lives by offering the opportunity to experience something outside of themselves. I can tell you from personal experience, their lives will not be the only ones that will change.
Make a donation to support a Good Sam camper at Camp Capers today.
Kathleen Judson, Community Relations Coordinator
Good Samaritan Community Services
To learn more about how you can help, contact Kathleen at Judson_k@goodsamcenter.com.