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Adam Simon, Director of OTC with campers.

20 years ago, when I started Odyssey Teen Camp, I could not have imagined the impact this camp would have on my life as well as thousands of other people’s lives.

A safe space

The concept was simple – create a summer camp for teenagers where they were safe from bullying and emotional abuse. A place where they were accepted, honored, and celebrated, just for being themselves.

Campers at OTC embrace.

I wanted it to be a camp where teens could relax, and instead of hiding or building up their defenses, they would feel safe and free to share their gifts, dreams, and passions as well as their insecurities and vulnerabilities.

A life-changing experience

Since its inception, thousands of teenagers have spent their summers at Odyssey Teen Camp, and many tell me that OTC changed their lives. On several occasions, someone has told me that camp literally saved their life.

Being a teenager is difficult at best. Because of the physical changes they are going through, pressures in their daily life and time spent on social media, it is very difficult for a teenager to feel good about themselves. They often get very shy, and will often hide different parts of themselves, (often the best parts).

The power of a loving community

Teenagers who come to OTC can get a break from all of that. I don’t think there is anything more healing for a teenager than to be with peers who see, accept, and love them just the way they are.

Sharing circle at camp.

The realization that we all have our insecurities and weaknesses and can be loved anyway can help teenagers give themselves a much-needed break. They can move beyond the worries about what they look like or what other people think of them, and find the courage and confidence to try new things and share their thoughts and feelings.

I think the type of loving community we create at OTC can be life-changing and for some even life-saving.

Find out about Odyssey Teen Camp

A great place for teens to be exactly who they are in a community that celebrates diversity. 

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