Camp Sunrise held its elementary school, junior high school, and high school camps this year from July 2-9, July 10-20, and July 23 to August 2, respectively, at Harriman State Park in New York.
For the past few years, campers have received Divine Principle education through a skit activity; however, this year, the education for middle school and high school camps transitioned to one of group discussions. Staff member Brian Sabourin created slides and packets that broke down concepts from the Divine Principle so that the participants could easily understand. Teams read the slides and packets and answered discussion questions with their teams. This fostered deep and meaningful discussions, and many participants expressed that they learned more through the education this year than in previous years.
During high school camp, participants went to Mountain Creek Water park in lieu of their usual rafting trip. The water park was a success, and the participants were happy to do something new.
During both middle school and high school camps, Unificationist Joe Leonard came to talk about the importance of developing one’s character during their teen years and staying abstinent. He incorporated several interactive activities which kept the audience engaged, and the content was very relatable.
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Elizabeth LaGrotteria: Camp Sunrise is such a beautiful place. I am in awe at how amazing my experience is every year. I feel like I can be my most genuine self at Camp Sunrise. Camp has a way of allowing people to be their best most true self and provides us with the unique space to grow our hearts and our understanding for others. It has been a safe haven for me the past 3 years. I’m so grateful to have been able to meet so many new faces and create strong relationships. Every year after camp I am inspired to do more to show my love and appreciation for those around me. My heart has been so deeply moved at camp and I hope that we can all spread the Sunrise heart everywhere we go because it is so powerful. The atmosphere around Camp Sunrise is unlike any I have seen in my life. There is a genuine love the springs forth from every interaction and surrounds us. I thank God for giving me these moments of joy and I hope to pay my experience forward in every way I can.
Yuki Jones: My mother would always tell me to live a life for others because the more love you can give, the more love you can receive. As a counselor at Camp Sunrise, all of my responsibilities boil down to one thing: My job is to love the kids that come to camp. It’s not an easy job, but it is definitely a rewarding and fulfilling experience. I feel like above the Divine Principle education and character education at Camp Sunrise, I have learned how to love my brothers and sisters around me. I have learned how to live a life of love. I don’t know of any other summer program that has made the same impact on me as a person. That is why I keep on coming back to Camp Sunrise.
Takamasu Kuriki: There is nothing more exciting about the summer for me than going back to Camp Sunrise. It’s a place where I can call home, and my family awaits. It always brings me great joy when I reunite with campers and staff whom I only see at camp, and it brings me greater happiness when we bond in all kinds of activities planned throughout the week. Even though I’ve worked there for three years now, it’s never the same experience. I always liked investing my time in giving the kids a wonderful experience throughout camp. I just loved seeing them grow in such a short period of time, and I believe it was thanks to the love of God shown through us camp staff.