CAMP TESIMONIES

Camp for many is life changing... and for some it is even life saving.  Friendships are made.  Walls are torn down.  It is amazing what can happen in 5 days.  Below are testimonies of some of the campers that have found camp to be an experience that changes their life forever:

I think I grew more this year than ever. I think that Camp Benedict helped me find my heart again and while I have a heavy heart, for the first time in a very long time it's open. I can fill it now that I have shed the baggage I had been carrying. Thank you for the extra help in making my little ritual possible. It was very powerful and empowering. I also feel like I am in control of my destiny again and I have great hope for a bright future. Thanks for making all this possible.

~2019 Camper

I believe this is my fourth year at camp Benedict. And each year or you feel if there is significant improvement in my life by coming. Over the years I’ve learned that I needed to love myself better and I was able to learn this by the people that I am surrounded with when I come to camp. Over the past year I have had tremendous success with self acceptance and love. I honestly feel that I owe part of this success to Camp Benedict being part of my life. I’ve learned to come out of my shell and isolation to the point that I now have a productive life friends and job. I honestly don’t know what my life would look like today had I not been given this opportunity the past few years. 
Thank You Camp Benedict, Camp Knutson, Board Members, K-Staff and fellow campers.

~2019 Camper

I am so happy that I decided to come to Camp Benedict this year I am having the time of my life this is a great experience for me that I will always remember. I can just feel the love here and the acceptance this is the best feeling that I have had in a while and my heart is so so full of joy.

~2019 Camper

It has been an amazingly awesome week for me now I am back at home living my ordinary life it really was a blessing for me to experience something different. I so loved it I am so looking forward to going back next year to hang out with some crazy, funny, loving people just like me that can relate to the things that we go through in life. I love you all.

~2019 Camper

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first went to Camp Benedict. Originally I thought I would simply be giving my brother a lift to a retreat up north...then I was going to camp!!! And yet, In my head, it was still just this support group...camp...thing for him, in the end, I came away amazed with the people and what CB is doing for the HIV community. I'm so grateful to know there's a place of escape, support, and acceptance for individuals and families affected by HIV/Aids. Memories where made that will last a lifetime.

Thank you, Connie,
you started a great thing

~2016 Camper

Thank you for a wonderful day, Camp Benedict. A special thank you to everyone who shared in the men’s group this evening. The honesty and vulnerability was inspiring! Lots of other great things to reflect on as I go to bed tonight. It has been a magical day

~2019 Camper

I had so much fun at camp this week I could do another week. I really enjoyed everyone. I have a new family now ....

~2019 Camper

3 years ago I timidly got a bus for a journey to unfamiliar Crosslake MN with a bunch of strangers. I was in denial about my personal relationship at home, I was filled with anxiety, and I was scared. I literally thought I threw myself off a cliff to my worst nightmare. I was away from home and no way to get back if something went wrong. 
I was greeted with so many open and accepting arms. I quickly was learning from sitting and listening to people talking that they too were having the same feeling I was. Some were battling the same anxiety and depression that I was on a daily bases also. I had so much in common with everyone here that I was able to let my guard down and start for the first time in many many years feel worthy of friendship and acceptance. People in my family have even seen a difference in spirit after I attend camp. I returned home filled with joy and a new sense of self-acceptance and awareness. I have a new determination to keep my health up. Every year when the application process opens up I get so excited because I get to try for that spot again. This camp means so much to me as it's been a driving factor for me to do better and face my anxiety and work out of my depression while learning more about my disease and functioning with it. This opportunity that I've been awarded has given me so much I don't even know where to begin to describe my gratitude for the changes in my heart and life it has made. I want to thank everyone with Camp Benedict and Camp Knutson for making my story possible ( As Rambled as it is ) I can only hope that other campers and future campers get as much or more out of this experience as I do.

~2018 Camper

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