Elijah's dad died of an illness when he was 5 years old - now he's 11, just started the 6th grade, and lives in John's Creek, GA. A school counselor told his mom about Experience Camps, and he attended the program in Georgia for the first time this past summer. Despite feeling nervous about going for the first time, Elijah had an incredible week and can't wait to go back!
Here's what his mom, Leigh, tells us about Elijah:
Elijah is a bright and energetic young man. He participates in Boy Scouts, basketball, youth church, and he does well in school. He misses the love of his father, but he is working everyday on how to deal with the emptiness.
I am proud of him for being open to going to camp. It was his first year and he really learned a lot. He enjoyed talking with others who identified with his loss. Both of my parents are still living so at times I have no clue how he really feels, I only know it hurts. It really helped Elijah to be with others who "get it" and not feel so alone on his fatherless journey.
I wish our family and friends could understand what it's like. Some people feel that since Elijah was only 5 when his Dad died, how could it still affect him? But grief is ongoing and it changes over time. Most people don't really understand that unless they've been through it.
Experience Camps is part of our village now. He really felt the sincerity and love there. I am so happy I found this program and I look forward to when my son can come back as an ambassador for others when he is older.