Stepping Out of Comfort Zones and into Camp

Posted on: Friday January 12, 2018

By: Amber Estelle

Amy Muegge wasn’t sure about going to a Victory Lane Camp summer session last year. She was hesitant about taking her daughter into a new environment, and she was uncertain about raising the money to attend camp. It took some encouragement from an unlikely source to help her to take the leap and attend camp.  Amy was introduced to the idea of Victory Lane Camp through one of her friends a few years ago. Amy’s initial thought was, “nope.” She explained, “It was something I wanted to do, but I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to make the money to take Emma. And the idea of taking care of Emma somewhere that was different was really daunting to me.” Some time passed before another friend… this time one of Emma’s friends… reintroduced the idea of attending a Victory Lane Camp session. Emma had formed a close friendship with Jadyn Youngquist. Amy described how their connection developed, “Emma had a teacher in elementary school that really tried to foster to relationships between typical and non-typical kids. When I would see Jadyn, she would talk about how much she liked Emma.” Determined to see her friend thrive at camp, Jadyn decided to pursue Amy after a Christmas program and talk with her about taking Emma to camp. “I had my mind set that night on finding her mom and talking to her about coming to camp. I basically walked over there and just said ‘Hi, I’m Jadyn from Emma’s school, and I’m her best friend.’” Jadyn shared. Amy recognized Jadyn from the letter she had sent to their home about her friendship with Emma. For Amy, the letter continues to touch her. “It was the first time that I realized Emma could have friends. It warmed my heart so much. To think that Emma’s world could be more than just me and her dad and her sister. There’s people out there that care about people like Emma. It was somebody who purely wanted to spend time with Emma because she loves her for who she is,” she expressed. Toward the end of 2016, Emma and Amy attended a VLC Christmas party. They were becoming more interested in camp, but Amy still had reservations on the finances and the idea of camping in general. She stated, “I thought it was such a great thing, but it took me years to go. I kept getting different glimpses into it. It was almost like ‘you’re meant to do this’ so we did.” After hearing their decision to go to camp, Jadyn was excited to spend time with Emma, get to know her better, and have fun at camp. She shared, “As we got closer to camp, I realized what I wanted for Emma was for other people to get to know her and love her as much as I do. It was my mission to help the connections I had at camp to get to know and love her like I do.” Amy wasn’t sure about camp at the beginning, but described, “It was better than I expected. It was wonderful. It was nice to be able to relax. It felt comfortable. It was nice having a group of teens include Emma. While I was sitting and talking to Lori (Fowler), they would come ask to take Emma with them. And Emma loved it. The girls still talk to some of the kids that we met there.” Amy has some advice for parents thinking about attending a Victory Lane Camp summer session. “It will be stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s worth trying. It’s an atmosphere of acceptance and love and fun and encouragement. I don’t know why somebody wouldn’t want to do that. It’s worth facing fears and doing it.” Since encouraging Emma’s family to attend camp, Jadyn is grateful for the experiences they were able to share. She expressed, “It was magical. It was kind of a dream of come true to help me get other people to recognize what an amazing person Emma is. She’s such a good person, and she’s always so happy.”

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Looking Forward to 2018

Posted on: Monday December 18, 2017

By: Amber Estelle

As we wrap up 2017, we are thankful for the experiences we’ve shared as a Victory Lane Camp community. We’re also hopeful about what’s ahead in 2018. Here’s some of what you can look forward to in the new year: Camps: Pull out your calendar and get these camp dates on the schedule. The summer of 2018 will start with the first session of camp, designed for returning Victory families, at Bradford Woods in Martinsville, Indiana. Victory families will be at camp from June 7-10 and serving families from June 6-10. The second camp session is at Cornerstone Campground in New Castle, Indiana. Victory families will attend from July 19-22 and serving families from July 18-22. Registration will open in January. Follow Victory Lane Camp on Facebook and Twitter for updates. Events: Because VLC is “S’more” than a camp, we’re already planning several events for the year. We’re hosting Parents’ Night Out events in February and August. We are also planning our annual pool party in June and Chili Cook-off in September. There are plans to mix things up a little bit with some new events. Be sure to get updates delivered to your email inbox to stay informed as the year progresses. VLC MarketPlace: If you’re interested in well-made furniture items that you can purchase while supporting Victory Lane Camp, check out the VLC MarketPlace. An anonymous craftsman is donating time and skill to create beautiful, hand-crafted furniture. These items are being sold through Facebook on the Victory Lane Camp MarketPlace. All profits made from these pieces will go to VLC. Items are priced from $20 to $200. Tiffanny Youngquist, Assistant Director, is looking forward to the coming year. “I am always excited about meeting the new families that will join our VLC community through our summer camps. This year I am also very excited that we are extending an invitation to all the women of VLC (all those who have been to camp) to our Women’s Refresh weekend in May.” There’s much to anticipate in the year ahead, and we continue to appreciate each of you who are part of the Victory Lane Camp community.

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Unexpected Blessings: The Bowmans Grow Through Serving

Posted on: Friday December 8, 2017

By: Amber Estelle

  Billy and Wendy Bowman’s involvement with Victory Lane Camp began with Brett and Paige Fischer sharing a presentation about VLC in their home. They became monthly prayer partners and donated financially. As their connection with the VLC community continued to develop and grow, the Bowmans began to see change and growth within their own family. “We led meal teams from our church for several years and then we were finally able to come to camp this past summer,” explained Wendy. Their participation extends beyond camp: they enjoy attending the VLC events throughout the year. The Bowman’s four children are also taking part in the community. “Our oldest son, Tucker, is participating in the TIMs program. He is learning how to be a great leader and think about how he can incorporate serving others into his everyday life.” Wendy continued to share more of their children’s experiences, “My boys loved interacting with all the other kids at camp and getting to play gaga ball to their hearts’ content! Conner liked playing with Bracy and Caden. Tucker enjoyed getting to know Luke Miller better. Tanner enjoyed the hot air balloon ride at the Chili Cook-off. Sawyer just likes to go around and talk to everyone.” One of their favorite memories at camp this summer was talking with Victory parents Cyndi and Kai Johnson while watching Leah, Rebecca, and Aiden Johnson catch fish after fish and a turtle or two. Wendy also appreciated the time they had with Brenda and Doug Miller, who are both Victory parents and a serving family. She expressed, “Brenda and Doug helped us learn how to be better servants for the Victory families.” Some of Bowmans’ connections began before their involvement with VLC. Wendy explained, “We have reconnected with old friends. I actually used to work with Amy Muegge (daughter Emma).  After my family decided to homeschool I quit working, we lost communication for the last 5 years or so. When I heard that her family was coming to camp this summer, I was so excited! We have reconnected and have loved getting to know their whole family better.” One of the unexpected blessings of their VLC involvement was watching their family grow and change as a result. Wendy shared, “We have made a family mission statement and have family meetings each week. We have a common language when we need to take a ‘stop!’ We are growing closer together and closer to God as a team.”  

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Why We’re Thankful

Posted on: Tuesday November 21, 2017

By: Christy Ragle

  As 2017 winds down, we’re overwhelmed with thankfulness for the many blessings that have come from the Victory Lane Camp community. Here is a list of 10 things we’re thankful for this year. Victory Families- Ten new Victory Families joined us this year, and each family has brought so much to our community. We’re also thankful for the way ALL of our Victory Families have been involved this year, from attending monthly events to participating in camp. Church/Organization Partners- Many churches and service organizations help with various “behind-the-scenes” aspects of Victory Lane Camp, and their support is very appreciated. For example, Sulphur Springs Church sponsored the Cast Part for this year’s VLC Talent Night. Ten churches and service groups provided meals at our July camp session. TIMs (Teens In Mission)- This year we had a record 24 teens participate in camp, including a youth group. Eight teens are participating in a year-long training and volunteer program. Sierra Anderson-Firle, who served as the intern coordinating the TIMs program, had this to say about the TIMs, “Both the Serving Families and Victory Families told me that the TIMs were a huge help.” Serving Families- TIMs weren’t the only group setting records. The number of Serving Families also set a record, with 29 families giving their time and energy to serve at a summer camp session. The Clemens family was one of the families who served this summer. “I loved being associated with a family, having a specific role, finding fellowship and building community,” expressed Kristina Clemens.  Pit Crew Members- Pit crews are the teams of people who help keep VLC running year- round. All pit crews worked to make 2017 a successful year of building the VLC community. We are thankful for the two new pit crew members who joined us this year: Audrea Thatcher and Nancy Wadman. Board of Directors- As Victory Lane Camp continues to grow, we rely heavily on the wonderful group of Christians leaders who have stepped up to help guide this organization. Their advice and active involvement is something we’re extremely thankful for. Prayer Partners- Victory Lane Camp was built on a foundation of prayer, and as we grow, we recognize the continued importance of prayer. We’re thankful for the faithful prayer partners who covered us in prayer to make this a fantastic year. Corporate Sponsors- The support of corporate sponsors makes it possible for us to operate and provide quality experiences for Victory Families. This year’s corporate sponsors are Bethany Cares Home Health Agency, Tri-State Forestry Services, Inc., Bruderer, Midwest Orthotic & Technology Center, Superior Van & Mobility, Henry County Community Foundation, ASI, Just Mulch Inc., Colour’z, Focal Point Coaching, Huffman Family Chiropractic, Big O Tires, Numotion, Cornerstone Campground, Verizon/TCC, Sproles Corp., Parkview Family Dentistry, Baumgartner Commercial, Don Criswell Construction, Bradford Woods, 321Go Kids’ Rehab, 321Go Family, and Senior Living at Forest Ridge. Donors- We’re also thankful for individual donors who do their part to support Victory Lane Camp. This year, we have the abundant blessing of an anonymous donor who is matching all new monthly donors… each month up to $1,500! Learn more about this opportunity at www.VictoryLaneCamp.org/give.php You! Every person who’s involved with Victory Lane Camp is someone who we are thankful for. Whether you just stumbled on this story today and are learning about VLC for the first time, or whether you were part of the founding group of pioneers who helped begin this organization, we’re thankful for YOU, and we look forward to a bright future ahead!

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