In late July, Pro-Life high school students from across Texas gathered in Trinity, TX for the fourth annual REveAL and REveAL², a week-long, Pro-Life intensive camp. Although campers enjoyed typical camp activities like a low ropes course, canoeing, and a campfire, what sets REveAL apart is the education campers receive from counselors and speakers about important topics within the Pro-Life movement.
REveAL began in the summer of 2010 and educated campers mostly on issues concerning abortion, and later expanded into a second camp, REveAL², which taught the campers about more advanced Pro-Life topics like euthanasia, stem-cell research, and in-vitro fertilization.
This summer, REveAL and REveAL² saw about 30 campers converge on Trinity Pines Conference Center to enjoy a week of making friends and gaining Pro-Life knowledge.
“We’ve learned about what abortion is. We’ve learned about what it means to be Pro-Life, to truly stand up for life at all stages,” said 17 year-old camper Bridey Davis.
Talks ranged from abortion procedures and Planned Parenthood’s racist beginnings with Margaret Sanger to human cloning and the Obamacare HHS Mandate. Campers also practiced speaking with people who hold opposing views and had several seminars on how to effectively communicate with opposition.
One of the most popular speakers at REveAL was Jerry Traylor, a man born with Cerebral Palsy who overcame his disability. Jerry has hiked Pike’s Peak and has run across America from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Brooklyn Bridge, despite walking on crutches. Traylor inspired the campers to never set limits on themselves or other people.
Toward the end of the week, Texas Right to Life legislative director, John Seago, spoke to the campers on a series of topics, ranging from euthanasia to lobbying legislators at the Texas Capitol. Many campers were intrigued by the topic of lobbying and some even expressed interest in attending a Pro-Life Lobby Day at the Capitol when the legislative session begins in January.
One topic that served as an eye-opener to campers was the story of Kermit Gosnell and his “House of Horrors” abortion mill in Philadelphia, PA. While some campers were already aware of the atrocious acts Gosnell committed against babies born alive after botched abortions, others were hearing the disturbing information for the first time and vowed to educate others, especially after hearing about Houston’s own Gosnell copycat abortionist, Douglas Karpen.
When REveAL finally came to a close, campers and counselors alike were sad to leave the friendships that were fostered during the week. All left with a renewed sense of purpose, passion, and increased knowledge of ways in which to bring about a change in the culture.
“Hopefully [I will] get a group going, a pro-life group back in my hometown,” Bridey said.
There is no doubt that the information campers gleaned at REveAL this summer will be making a difference in communities across Texas in the coming year.