Teenage boy struggling with depression finds hope and connection at summer camp
Being a young person is perhaps harder now than it ever was before. The pressures that society can place on our teens is immense – teachers demand better grades, coaches demand more time and better performances on the athletic field, and the temptations put upon our teens by their peers are greater than ever.
That’s why we believe so strongly in what we’re doing here at Odyssey Teen Camp. Below is a testimonial we just received from a family who was struggling with a lot of what we described above, and we’re so grateful that we were able to work with them and have Matthew at our summer teem camp.
Matthew’s teen camp story
“It was the springtime of 2007; we were caught in a very serious challenge with our son, Matthew, who had started to show signs of depression that compelled us to try finding solutions to support him. In our journey to find resources for this sensitive, creative and deeply soulful kid. Our research led us to Odyssey Teen Camp. Seeing that there was an open house weekend, we piled into our car and headed to the oasis known as Odyssey Teen Camp. Arriving there we gathered with several families as Adam Simon, the camp director, guided us around the wonderful setting. Standing by the pond adjacent to the main camp, we recall Adam speaking to a question as to why he founded this camp. As he spoke, sharing with us a slice of his own life as a teenager, lost in the system and unsupported as a sensitive teen, he choked up, tears forming in his eyes. The passion shown immediately infused the adults and teens, showing clearly that Adam was not your typical man, but one with deep sensitivity and love for these lost kids trying to find their way in a world which did little to acknowledge how very special they were.
Matt spent the full month session at Odyssey Teen Camp that first summer of 2007. The kid who we left at the camp that July summer afternoon was a changed person when we came back to pick him up in August. He was filled with a sense of unity and purpose, having a lightness and buoyancy that we had not witnessed to date. This was truly a transformative experience, not only for Matt, but for all the other kids who were fortunate enough to have Adam Simon and his team open the door to a luminous world otherwise not experienced by these kids.
2008 and 2009 brought summers of his attending Odyssey Teen Camp, but more importantly forging an indelible relationship with Adam Simon. In June 2009, Matt graduated from Darrow School and who sat in the audience witnessing this success but Adam, who had made the trip, with his dog, to this small boutique boarding school to be there for Matt. Needless to say, Odyssey Teen Camp has been the catalyst for Matt to take hold of himself in a bold and confident way, thus being instrumental in his taking charge of his life.
Since that time, Matt has continued to actively participate in Adam’s pearl, becoming a camp counselor and assisting Adam in a variety of projects and creative endeavors. Truly, Odyssey Teen Camp and Adam Simon were life-altering phenomenons that have priceless value. Thank you Adam for all that you’ve done and continue to do to change the lives of our youth. You are a gift!
Janeen and Michael”
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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, engage…