Robyn Hill grew up in Tustin, California, with her siblings, Laura and Daniel. Her parents, Russell and Char-Lee, kept the family involved with A/U by sending their kids to camp and attending A/U Chapter events (now DiscoveryBound) during the school year. They all have fond memories of local Chapter picnics, concerts in the park, and a variety of fun activities with other Christian Science families.
In the 7th grade, Robyn attended the A/U Ranches for the first time. In the Horsemanship program she learned to ride on the Rocky Mountain trails, then expanded her horizons and paddled through the white water rapids of the Arkansas River.
Robyn said she enjoyed both programs for different reasons. “I loved horseback riding because I love animals, and riding is so much fun. We had so much freedom with riding. Rafting was awesome because of the team effort and working together to navigate difficult parts of the river!”
She also enjoyed some of the simpler things at camp. “I loved sitting by the campfire singing, taking part in the talent shows and playing in the lake. I also really loved that it was a Christian Science camp and that I could relate to everyone there.” Robyn continued, “One day before a rafting trip I began to have the belief of a stomach ache. I remember the love of fellow campers and counselors and the support they gave me. After reading the lesson and repeating hymns, I felt better and went on my trip. I really felt the love of those around me who helped lift my thought where it needed to be.”
“Taking Camp Home” is a theme that resonated with Robyn, and she continues to apply the lessons she learned at camp in her daily life. “I learned to express myself through God’s Love to others, to express happiness and joy and not to be afraid to meet new people and to try new things.” Says Robyn, “Honestly this is something I use every day! I pray in the morning for protection for the day, which I learned at camp. Whether it be taking a moment to thank God for what I have, or to ask for forgiveness for a mistake I have made…God helps guide me through it.”
After graduating from the Art Institute of Orange County, California in 2009, Robyn went on to be an interior designer in Irvine. She married Martin Gonzalez in 2010, and is waiting for the right time to have kids of her own. Robyn playfully reminds us, “Yes my last name is with two z’s!”
She shared with us how she has applied Christian Science at work. “I was working on a project that required a presentation to a client. I realized just days before the presentation that a color choice in the client’s initial request had been left out. At first I stressed out over the mistake I had seemingly made. Then I remembered that God was in control. There is only one Mind. A solution to solve the problem came to me, and my manager agreed to it. My manager wasn’t even upset about the mistake and it turned out the client didn’t even want the [missing] color! God was with me the whole time.”
Even with her busy schedule and right out of college, Robyn makes time for church. She was a member of her church’s Executive Board and currently serves as the church Clerk and the Co-Superintendent of their Sunday School. Robyn says she’s learned to serve by her mother’s example. “My mom was so involved in church and A/U, and I really looked up to her. I wanted to carry that on so I can share it with my future kids. I am so grateful for Christian Science.”
Robyn’s mom, Char-lee Hill, was on staff at the A/U Ranches in the late 1970s and supported the Orange County A/U Chapter as a leader in the 1990s and early 2000s. Char-Lee was a large inspiration to those she served in area and role model for other volunteers. She was awarded The Beverly Anderson/Jim Ligner Award in 1997 for exemplifying the spirit of A/U. Robyn reminisced, “We were always at events super early to help set up, and always the last ones to leave after cleaning up. My mom arranged spring cleaning at our church; she hosted Christmas parties at our house, and much more.”
Robyn recalls her mother would have her and her siblings raise funds themselves each year in order to attend camp. “When you attend camp you learn so much metaphysically that you truly can’t learn anywhere else. What a wonderful gift that would be to help a family that needs it, to help their kids go [to camp], to learn and grow spiritually.”
So when will we see Robyn (Hill) Gonzalez, with two z’s, back at the Ranches? “I hope very soon! I really miss the atmosphere and would love to go to Family Camp to raft and horseback ride. When I have children of my own, I will definitely be involved. I hope I can pass on what my mom and Christian Science gave to me!”