I lost my mother to AIDS when I was just 7 years old. I was confused and a lost child, trying to understand and find answers. “Why her? Why me? What is “AIDS”? What is “HIV”? How can it be cured?”. I started camp shortly after and eventually received the best answers I could of got. I spend the rest of my childhood, growing into who I am today, at this wonderful place. When I was away from camp, I didn’t feel like I “fit in” anywhere else, but the moment those bus doors opened and we were greeted by our counselors, it felt like home. It felt right. The next decade I spent 1 week of my summer here, and always begged for more time. The boat ceremony was always the hardest. So many tears were shed that night, but we all were hopeful. Hopeful we all were able to make it back the following year. Some didn’t, but most did. I haven’t been back to camp in a decade now. I miss it so much. There is plenty of times when I just sit and think about it, and dreamed of coming back one day as a counselor, or just a visit. I now have my own 7 year old beautiful healthy little girl that calls me mommy. I take what I learned at camp with me through every day parenting. Never to judge others, always be kind, have courage in everything you do, and to never give up. Double H Ranch is my home away from home, and I cherish it so deeply. I even have it tattooed on me! If anyone is looking into bringing your child here, do it. You wont regret it, and they won’t ever stop sharing the memories with you that they had there. I’m turning 28 years old this year, and I feel amazing. Beating odds is an amazing feeling, but not thinking about turning 30 soon is!! Haha! I want to say a huge thank you to all of the counselors because without all of your encouragement and love, we may not of pushed ourselves to try harder. So thank you all!!