What I Brought Home from Camp: The Practice of Christian Science

By Valerie Perse

Valerie Perse

This summer, I had the amazing chance to work for Adventure Unlimited as an intern for the Foundation and Marketing departments. After being away from camp for five years, I was a little nervous to return, but also excited to give back to the place that made me the Christian Scientist I am today.

I started attending camp at eight years old and had received camperships during my time there. I never realized how life-changing the support I received from donors was. Going to camp every summer remains one of my most memorable childhood experiences. I was able to meet other Christian Scientists my age, and it gave me the opportunity to make Christian Science my own. 

I grew up going to Sunday School with my mom, but realized I wanted to be a Christian Scientist because of the meaningful interactions with fellow campers and counselors that I had at camp. Being able to work for the Foundation and contribute to donor stewardship and cultivation was something I never imagined I would get to do.

My work at the A/U Ranches involved collecting video stories that focused on Adventure Unlimited’s mission, “Opening Windows to God.” I appreciated being able to talk with participants about how Adventure Unlimited opened windows for them and how they would take what they learned at camp and apply it in their personal lives. Throughout the summer I started thinking about what I wanted to bring home with me from camp.

I thought back to my experience as a camper and realized that time I spent at the A/U Ranches had a huge impact on my perception of Christian Science. I had realized there were so many young Christian Scientists like me who came to camp to experience what it was like to be surrounded by other like-minded people. 

The feeling of belonging as a camper really encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone. Throughout my work this summer, I noticed that campers today were also more willing to do this with the support of fellow campers and counselors. 

As I enter into my senior year at Principia College, I want to work on creating an environment where people feel supported and encouraged to try new things and take a leap of faith.

How has your experience at the A/U Ranches or in an A/U Chapter/DiscoveryBound program blessed what you’re doing now? Email [email protected] with your story.

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