I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

A very simple and straightforward Bible passage and one of my favorites. "I have kept the faith." Faith. In so many ways faith for me is synonymous with Caroline Furnace. My years at Caroline as a camper and summer staff allowed me to discover and develop my "grown up faith" as a Christian. Walking the trails, soaking up the sunshine, talking about God among peers, feeling the Holy Spirit among us at a campfire, all those indelible moments helped me claim the Lord for my own and to own my faith. 

The other gift Caroline Furnace afforded me in faith was faith in myself. At camp I gained confidence; I learned skills. Pastor Wayne Williams had high expectations of his summer staff and you did not want to disappoint. He first taught me to "leave it better than you found it;" a mantra that has become a cornerstone of my every day living. At camp I learned how to be a leader, how important plan B is, how to manage time... and 100 kids. My self-esteem and confidence grew along with my understanding of the immeasurable value of inclusing, compassion, kindness and a good belly laugh. Today, not a month goes by when I don't give credit to my time as a camp counselor when someone catches me doing something good. There's no fight about it: Caroline Furnace as a camper or as a summer staff member is life changing. I'll never be finished with that belief; you can have faith in that. 

(Photo of Joyce with Pastor Wayne and Cecilia Williams)



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