John's Speech at the Miami Event

Hello! my name is John Warmbold.

I go to an amazing summer camp called ”Experience Camp.” Experience Camp is all about supporting kids who have lost a loved one.

I lost my mom.

After she died, I felt like no one could help and I was all alone. But then when my dad told me about Experience Camp, I realized that there were people that could help and I wasn’t alone.

When I first came to Experience Camp, I was nervous, I didn’t know anyone, and I wasn’t sure if I would really enjoy this camp. I was placed in Bunk 14, or as the camp calls it, B:14. The only person there I knew was my friend Ethan. My counselors were Aaron, Evan and Danny. My bunk mates were Daniel, Rowan, Leland, Noah, Victor, Hunter, Max, Brandon, Austin, Ethan, and me. We had a bunch of activities to do like tubing, ziplining, rock climbing, and the obstacle course.

One of my favorite things about camp is College League. At the beginning of the week, the kids and counselors are put on a team named after a college and there’s one counselor that is the Dean of the team. The teams then compete in different activities, and at the end of the week, there’s a winner. Last year, the teams were Clemson Tigers and Pitt Wolves, and I was on Clemson. College League was so much fun!

The thing I like about camp is that kids who’ve lost a loved one get to feel like they’re not alone., There are sharing times and sometimes you make projects to help you talk about your grief. To me, Experience Camp is a place where I can talk about my feelings and feel comforted. You can talk to anyone there about your person who died. That’s one of my favorite parts about it. Everyone is always there for you.

When you arrive at camp, they give you a necklace, which has your name spelled out in small, wooden letters, and a bead for each year you’ve gone to the camp. I’ve been there two years, so I have two beads. But the main reason I decided, “Hey, I’ll give it a shot”, is that I knew it would help me. It’s a place I can call home. It’s home because of the community. The people there do their all to help each and every camper, and I really appreciate that about them. Each camper and counselor is extremely sympathetic, and I like that.

I loved Experience Camp, and I hope you do too. We would all appreciate it if you considered donating to this camp, and if you already have donated in the past, all your donations were used and appreciated. Thank you.