Texas Right to Life’s Team LIFE Camp welcomed 30 high school aged campers to Camp Chrysalis in Kerrville, TX in mid-April. Although most attendees were from the greater San Antonio area, several campers also traveled from Houston to learn about Pro-Life issues and how they could initiate Pro-Life activism in their school and home communities.
Campers were immersed in Pro-Life topics starting on Friday night when they arrived at the campsite. A “Pro-Life 101” talk began the weekend, reviewing what the term Pro-Life means, how abortions are committed, how abortion was legalized in America, and a brief overview of ethical problems surrounding embryonic stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, and euthanasia. The campers then broke into small groups or “clubs,” where they were led in discussion by their counselors (most of whom are Dr. Joseph Graham Fellows) to help the campers process the information they had learned. These small group discussions continued throughout the entirety of the weekend after each talk and allowed campers to bond with one another and continue to ask questions after the talk ended. The night concluded with a viewing of the Pro-Life movie “October Baby,” and, of course, plenty of popcorn!
Saturday at Team LIFE camp was packed full of education and activities. The day began with canoeing in the river nearby and, although the weather was colder than normal for April, several of the students even jumped into the river! Later, campers listened to counselor-led talks on topics such as fetal development, adoption, and an in-depth questioning of whether our society needs Planned Parenthood like anti-Life advocates claim (spoiler alert: we don’t). Texas Right to Life Legislative Director John Seago spoke about euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, and the Texas Advanced Directives Act, and later had the campers’ political juices flowing with a discussion about what makes a good Pro-Life law. As the day came to a close, campers and counselors alike enjoyed a campfire, complete with s’mores and singing, which then morphed into a lip sync battle!
Before parents arrived on Sunday, the campers heard talks about how to dialogue with friends who are anti-Life and women who may be considering abortion. The campers then practiced the skills and dialogue tips they had learned, and many pinpointed this activity as their favorite, and most practical, of the weekend. Veronica Arnold Smither, Texas Right to Life’s Education Director, presented on abortifacient forms of contraception and Pro-Life and ethical alternatives, a topic that was new to several of the students present. Rounding out the weekend, Jennifer Lopez from the Parenting Resource Center of Kerrville shared the life-affirming resources that the Center offers for pregnant moms and their partners which encourage them to choose Life, and also her own testimony of abortion and healing. As campers departed with the parents, at least three of them shared that they will be establishing Pro-Life clubs in their high schools, with several other campers telling counselors about the friends and family members they hope to bring to Team LIFE Camp next spring!
On the ride home, one camper told her mom that she felt like her life was changed by attending Team LIFE Camp. Your support changes teens’ lives and molds them into fully fledged Pro-Life advocates. Thank you for your prayers and financial support that makes this camp possible!