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Sophomore finds encouragement at winter retreat

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Toryn Triplitt enjoyed spending time with friends at Hume Lake’s Winter Camp.

Hume Lake Christian Camps is a place where people go to meet new people, encounter new experiences and expand their faith. Personally, in the past, winter camp has been a tumultuous experience, but in a good way. At times you begin to feel confused or out of place, but excited all the while. Hume has always been something comfortable, yet adventurous, allowing me to dive into relationships with friends in a unique way.

This year, I attended camp with friends again, but held a change of motivation for attending. Yes, I still looked forward to sharing experiences with friends like in past retreats, but hoped to meet more new people, encourage others outside of my friend group and focus more on my faith this time around. It is easy in this setting to lose sight of the goal of the camp, which is extending your borders and growing in your faith.

The past two years camp fell on my birthday and I suffered the embarrassment of my friends telling the leaders at breakfast, followed by me sitting unassuredly while the camp sang “Happy Birthday”. I often felt homesick, unable to see my parents or family. This year I returned home the day before my birthday.

My personal goals for camp was to focus increasingly on my faith and the faith aspect of the entire experience. I also looked to extend my realm of encouragement to people outside of my group.  

Going in with more of a faith-based mindset proved to be a beneficial thing. The church I attend camp with has a tradition on the last night of camp called “Cry Night.” It is a chance for people to stand up and share what they learned, what they have been going through and struggling with the past few months, or even their life situation. The title “Cry Night” derives from people having a movement of emotion come over them as they share their story or their new proclamation of faith.

Their stories and experiences also often move the audience to tears. It truly is unbelievable the situations some people my age have seen, go through or fight. My faith grew after getting to hear these people’s stories. I got to see six people in my own youth group either submit their lives to God or resubmit and acknowledge the error of their ways. I was able to look around and see their faith growing which in turn grew mine.

Looking to encourage new people outside of my own friend group turned out surprisingly easier than I thought. I was able to hug all the people who shared their stories and tell them God was about to begin an amazing work in their lives. Even just conversing with them, I could see the impact a few simple words of encouragement could make. It was super special to see their growth and confidence soar as people supported them.

Hume Lake Christian Camps offers a way to start a new, strong and permanent support system for people all around you. Your faith, if you let it, will grow while your friendships strengthen and become more tightly woven. Hume is an all-around unsurpassable experience and a rollercoaster of fun, learning and faith.

For more articles about Hume Lake, read Hume Lake annual fundraiser promotes community. For more columns, check out COLUMN: Roman Endicott steps out of comfort zone

This author can be reached via twitter @toryntriplitt and via email: Toryn Triplitt.

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