“Tom, hurry up! The kids will be here soon!” Beth yelled to her husband who was busy preparing for the new campers in the barn. Their secluded mountain home was a retreat and refuge for many, but for the next two weeks it would be a school for a group of teenagers. They would learn how to rock climb, become disciplined, and most importantly, the youth would learn to work as a team and be confident in their own skills.
“I’m coming! I wanted to make sure the climbing wall was ready for our guests!” Tom hollered back. He was in the barn readying the ropes, carabiners, and harnesses for the day’s events. Beth was walking towards him looking as beautiful as the day he had met her. Her long blond hair was tied back with a baby blue ribbon that waved across her face as the wind blew gently.
Tom and Beth had operated Camp Wannabe as a self-confidence camp for youth who had troubled pasts, whose parents needed some place to send them for the summer, or for those kids who truly needed to belong. Tom had grown up in an orphanage after his parents were killed in a car accident and his elderly grandparents were not able to care for him. They felt it was the only option for the boy at the time and later would apologize for the pain it caused him. Tom’s grandparents lived to see their grandson join the Navy and then his grandmother passed away within two years of her husband’s passing. It was as though they needed to see him come out of that orphanage and be alright. He forgave them and understood, but the emotional scars he carried from being bullied and teased would linger for years. The confidence he received from being in the military was the reason he wanted to create a place where kids like him would be able to gain the inner strength they lacked. It was then that they decided to open Camp Wannabe.