2018 Annual Appeal Letter

Dear Friends of Sheldon Calvary Camp,

We want to share with you this letter from a young woman who spent eight years as a camper, so that you can hear directly from her about the significance of Calvary Camp.

 6/27/18

Dear Mr. Tim Green,

            I have to be honest, I am not really sure why I’m writing you this letter, but as I sat on my lifeguarding chair this morning, something told me to. Something told me to write to you in an attempt to compile all of my feelings about Calvary into one letter. This August will be the first August since I was eight years old that I won’t be coming home to Conneaut. I won’t be pulling into the gravel road, getting checked for lice, or collapsing into my best friends’ arms as I prepare for the new best week of my life. I won’t sing Baby Shark or Weenie Man around the campfire, I won’t weave neon plastic to create bracelets, and I won’t cuddle next to my chosen sisters at night during devotions. I won’t pull any rip flags, I won’t spell out the name of a jungle cat, and I won’t huddle in the beautiful chapel overlooking Lake Erie as the sun descends upon the horizon that I’ve called my home for the past eight years. And while it was a choice that I made not to come this year, there are no words to describe how heartbroken I am. You created my true home, a place where I could escape the world while simultaneously being entirely engulfed in its greatest glories.

            I have never been a person who really misses things. I cannot explain it, but I just don’t really miss things. Except Calvary. Calvary has burrowed its way into my tiny heart and will always ALWAYS hold a place there. Every person, memory, blade of grass, flower petal, rock on the gravel road, and bench outside the cabins holds its own special place in my heart. Even in the dog days of August when bugs are everywhere and the temperature in the triple digits, there is nowhere in the world that I would rather be. And if I’m being completely honest and candid, it’s the only place in the world where I can feel Jesus by my side. Between a combination of incredible staff, irreplaceable lifelong best friends, and my faith in Jesus, Calvary is my true sanctuary. There is so much hate and violence in the world, but the camp you run is void of all of that. My thank you is so long it could wrap around the world twice.

            I’ve been asking God and the world a lot lately why I had to choose. Why did I have to choose between my passion and the thing I love more than anything in the universe? But as I write this letter, I am not kidding, but a rainbow has appeared right outside my window. Brilliant, vibrant, and composed of my favorite combination of colors: red, yellow, blue and green. And I realize that the reason I had to choose was because I have to have faith that Calvary will always be there for me, even if I’m not physically present there. And while I understand the lesson, I am still heartbroken not to be in attendance at that magical place. I am not saying goodbye, for I will return next summer with the same love and glee I had when I was eight. I love Sheldon Calvary Camp with every fiber of my being, and I can’t wait to see it in 2019. Thank you for the most beautiful childhood.                                                                            

Truly,

Rachel G. Owen

 In a world filled with uncertainty and, too often, tragic and difficult news, it is comforting to know that the love and kindness which is at the core of the human spirit is being nurtured and developed in our young people.  Rachel’s words are a constant reminder of the necessity for Calvary Camp to continue as a beacon of hope and promise where faith is lived out and lived into.  

With your help, we can further inspire a generation of young people to appreciate the world in new and inviting ways and to make respect and love the cornerstone of their becoming.