How a Shy Thirteen Year Old Girl Came to Teen Camp, Walked Through Fire to Find Her Courage, Voice, and a Wonderful Mentor



Firewalking her way to confidence at Odyssey Teen Camp

Today’s story comes from Caroline, and we’re so grateful to her for sharing it. It always inspires us so much to see young women like Caroline come to teen camp and come alive with a renewed sense of self and confidence. But don’t take my word for it! Here’s Caroline’s story, in her words:

Caroline’s Story

“My name is Caroline, and when I was 13 years old, I arrived at my first sleep-away camp, called Odyssey Teen Camp (OTC). I was small, shy, and insecure. I went to OTC to build some confidence and meet some friends.

Little did I know how big of an impact this camp would have on me.

The Director, Adam Simon, is a wonderful man looking to give kids an experience they will never forget. The camp was/is situated in Holmes, New York. on beautiful land. The whole atmosphere of the camp is open, loving, and free-spirited. I was nervous at first, and it took me a day or two to adjust to this new place, but soon I felt right at home. However, my story doesn’t end there.

At OTC they have so many different activities and classes to choose from, you can practically do whatever your heart desires. The second week there, I saw a class called “Feel your Fear, Find your Power,” by the one and only Nancy Chernoff. Each summer a few visiting teachers come to camp and lead certain activities. Nancy’s program helps people bust through fears by doing a number of activities, including Firewalking. When I heard about this class, I was very interested and thought I would give it a try.

I had no idea how this workshop would dramatically change the course of my life. In Nancy’s class, we break boards with our hands, snap arrows, bend rebar and of course Firewalk. These physical actions are about breaking through our limited beliefs and to help us realize our true potential. I’ve always had a flame inside me, but Nancy helped ignite it. This workshop showed me that anything is possible. I firewalked, and while I did get a small fire kiss, it just showed me how much unused potential we all have.

I learned so much from this workshop and year after year I continued to go back and bust through certain self-imposed limitations again and again. Nancy has not only changed my life, but has become a very close friend, and always will be. In life, you will meet certain people through circumstances like this, and you will feel a very strong bond with them. Hold them close, for they will be there for you through thick and thin.

Today I am 18 and I am strong, powerful, and confident. In the last 6 years, I have achieved so much more than I ever thought possible. I am in my junior year of high school and starting the college process soon. I can’t wait to see where the rest of my life takes me. I attribute a lot of my mental and physical strength to Nancy and to teen camp. So, if your thinking about going to Odyssey, do it, because you never know how it will change your life and I am living proof of it.”

Wow, Caroline. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your confidence and fire is an inspiration to all of us.

So, what do you think? It doesn’t matter if you’re from New York City (we’re only a few hours away) – Our summer camp community has changed the lives of thousands of young people since 2003.”

Find out about Odyssey Teen Camp

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

Adam Simon, Odyssey Teen Camp Director

Adam Simon

I'm Adam Simon. I started teen camp eighteen years ago with the vision of creating a space where teenagers would know they are safe from bullying or negative judgments and would feel free to show who they really are and to become their best selves. Let's connect, discuss, and engage...

Related Posts

OTC Logo

Find Out About Odyssey Teen Camp

A Non-Profit Overnight Summer Camp For Teens Ages 13-18
Located in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.