Janelle finds courage and acceptance at Camp Indicoso
*Camp Indicoso - *On the second night of camp, 15-year-old Janelle got up in front of her fellow campers, counselors and Camp Indicoso staff to tell her story. She’s a nervous speaker, is often shy and is always the quiet one of the group. The high school sophomore from Whiteland, Indiana has come a long way from being the home sick 10-year-old who was too shy to talk to anyone her first week at camp.
Janelle is working on being more outgoing and open, and she knows that’s exactly why God brought her to camp this summer.“That’s what God wanted me to do, He wanted me to come here and try to talk to people,” Janelle said. “I don’t usually go out and talk to people but I feel like I did that this week. I feel like I’m safe here to talk and people won’t make fun of me if I mess up or if I get nervous when I talk.”
Janelle long ago accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior, and knows how important the safe environment of camp is. Growing up, she struggled to make friends because of her withdrawn personality. Camp has given her an opportunity to feel accepted and has grown her confidence in many aspects of her life.
“It’s not like when you go to school and you worry about people accepting you. People are very accepting here,” Janelle said. “People get it. They understand what we’re all going through and they are here to help us interpret that and act on it.”
Janelle’s preferred language is music, and for as long as she can remember, music has been her passion and her preferred way of communicating with the Lord. As she shared that with fellow campers, she knew God was working in her, giving her courage and confidence in Him to let down some of her defenses. She knows it was the Lord calling her to step out of her comfort zone and speak in front of everyone at camp.“When I went on the pole to talk about my history, I felt like He pushed me up. Because I didn’t think I was going to do it, but I did,” Janelle said. “I thought that was pretty awesome. I felt really close to God then.”
The change she has noticed in herself is evident: she can talk to people at camp, and has been encouraged by the acceptance and understanding of those around her.
“I feel like I can talk to these people, and that’s pretty good because I can’t really talk to very many people,” Janelle said. “But now I feel like I’m getting more confidence this week. Camp challenges me.”
Janelle attended camp in earlier years, but would not have been able to attend this summer if her church, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, had not footed the costs. The scholarship made Janelle’s experience possible, and though it was a challenging one, she knows it was well worth it.
“I wouldn’t respect God as much if he gave us all the answers up front or just did everything we asked him to. He does it in a way that we see and we learn and we grow from it,” Janelle said. “He’s like the parent that doesn’t just give the kid everything they want. He makes you grow and He makes you stronger.”