Emma Burk Owsley

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Emma Burk Owsley

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Camp Greystone

    Camp Greystone is an all-girls Christian camp, located in Zirconia, North Carolina. It was founded in 1920 and is filled with around 500 campers each summer. Its foundation is based on growth in the four fold way. These include: physical, spiritual, social, and mental growth. Camp Greystone and this four-fold way has impacted my life more than I ever thought it would when I started as a camper in 2007.

    To an extent, camp forces us to be active because we have to walk everywhere. So, I am bound to work off all of the “world famous” food I eat there. Not only do I have the opportunity to walk, but I have the opportunity to run. Every Sunday, a runners club called stumblers is held. We have the choice to run or walk 3.1 miles. To finish the long event-filled day, we go to sleep around nine to earn ten hours of rest. These are just a few ways that camp influences strong physical growth.

    Camp offers many ways to help me grow in my faith. One of my favorite classes, which I take every year, is a Bible class, led by a lady named Sandi Taylor. She translates verses from the Bible into situations that relate to the campers’ drama filled teenage lives. Sandi’s teachings make it possible for me to bring what I learn during camp back home.

    There’s a beautiful place on the lake, called Putt Cove. It was especially beautiful one morning at 6 a.m. when a group of us went down and had breakfast; we watched the sun rise. It was really quiet and we slowly started singing various praise and worship songs. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I’ve ever had. There is something sacred about camp and that is being around 500 girls that radiate their love for the Lord. His presence isn’t just in the counselors or the campers it is truly in the camp itself.

    Camp really encourages social growth with little strategies, like random table seating, every week. I’m not going to lie, it can be really awkward, but sometime throughout the week, people start to get more comfortable and begin to make more conversation. Meeting campers in classes also gives me more opportunities to make new friends.

    At the beginning of camp the hardest thing to give up isn’t my parents, but my phone. In the middle of camp my age group went out into real world for dinner and a movie. If you didn’t think that could get any better, we got our phones for an hour. But quickly after we used our phone, the realization of face to face relationships are so much better than screen to screen ones. This made me want to get back to camp.

    There are some mental influences that have helped shape me over the years. Typically ten to twelve people live together in a cabin. However, this past year 15 girls were packed into my cabin… we lived like sardines. When living with fourteen other girls, I was able to learn to put other’s needs before mine.

    Each morning we had breakfast club, this consisted of a joke and a story, which would help us grow in the four-fold way. At the end of one of the stories the camp director stated a quote, “Keep your eye upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole.” This is an easy reminder to not become focused on the things of the world, but rather the Lord. As you can tell, I have a great love for my home away from home. My last summer is approaching, and I am incredibly sad but so blessed that I had the opportunity to grow in all these ways.

Please click on the arrow below to hear Emma Burk’s Senior Reading.