‘Firsts’ at Hume New England

March 31, 2017

Written by John & Lisa Szablowski

One of the great joys of working at Hume New England is the pleasure and privilege

of experiencing many ‘firsts.’ As the camp gains momentum and grows, our staff is creating, participating in, and witnessing these ‘firsts.’ Some are long in planning and anticipated, some are monumental and even historic, but many are subtle and unexpected—and these can be the best kind.

KK and GroupTwo thousand and seventeen was the second year for winter camp here at Hume New England, but for the youth from Chapel of the Cross, it was their first Hume winter camp experience and the opportunity for plenty of other ‘firsts’: first broom hockey tournament, first time snow tubing down the run and out onto the pond, first Escape Room challenge, and first time building and participating in the Boxsled Blitz.

One of the campers who came with Chapel was a 14 year-old girl referred to affectionately as KK by her youth group. KK had been to Hume New England for summer camp and the Hume staff were very happy to see her back again. That’s because KK has a special story. Two years ago she was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma—a brain tumor—and after several surgeries KK continues to battle the disease, now considered inoperable.

KK has put her trust in God and knows where her strength comes from. At the very first chapel of the first week of winter camp, the speaker challenged the students with the question, “Who do you say Jesus is?” KK did not hesitate with an answer. Her hand shot up and when the speaker called on her, KK boldly said, “He is the reason I am alive.”

KK1KK’s unique story goes back further than her cancer diagnosis. KK was a foster child who experienced many homes prior to her adoption, so some experiences that are taken for granted by many 14 year olds are ‘firsts’ for KK. At the final chapel session at camp, it was announced that KK’s youth group was the winner of the Boxsled Blitz and, customary for Hume New England, the winning group was presented a large trophy. Amidst much cheering and applause, KK posed with her church for the group picture. When they sat back down the trophy was given to KK who was then in tears. She couldn’t believe her youth group got to keep this giant trophy and take it home. It was the first trophy that KK had ever won.

God is certainly at work at Hume New England. We watch and celebrate as campers commit their lives to following Christ for the first time. We witness pure fun as campers participate in activities for the first time. We see relationships forming as leaders pour into their students and campers make new friends. With great anticipation we wait and watch for the ‘firsts’ that only God can orchestrate. Please join us in praying for many more ‘firsts’ for KK, all of our campers, and for Hume New England.


For more info on Hume New England visit humenewengland.org