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Camp Changes Lives: Jahnae’s Story


Good food, fun counselors, and the experience to try new things are what make camp memorable for children like Jahnae. The first summer, being a girl from the city, she didn’t really think Camp Paradise Valley on Dale Hollow Lake would be something she would like, but she decided to give it a try. Jahnae signed up for the outdoor path at camp and soon realized that it wasn’t at all what she expected. Having to catch frogs and learn about their life cycle and ecosystem…gross! But at the same time, that path introduced her to something she loved – archery. Knowledge of which she has been able to pass down to her young cousin when he received a toy bow and arrow set as a gift.

During day camp, Jahnae was introduced to writing and singing songs. Having never been exposed to live music, she had no idea the gift that God had given her was just waiting inside to burst free. The Red Shield Band was started in the fall of 2015 and Jahnae was chosen as its lead vocalist, thanks to her camp experiences. However, she did not stop with just that. She used her voice as a spring board to a better education being accepted to I.T. Crestwell Arts Magnet School . Her gift has also enabled her to do something many of her friends could only dream about….travel. This past summer she was able to travel to Chicago to a music camp that also gave her the chance to perform with ”From the Hearts” with Keny Fraize. This summer, she is going to become a world traveler, with her voice leading the way to a trip to Africa.

The most important thing to come from her camp experience was what the staff taught her about herself. Jahnae says “They taught me I shouldn’t be afraid of what I believe in, and that I am going to be a successful person.” Her camp experience has not only built life long memories, but has opened doors to a brighter future than she would have known if she had never been given the opportunity to learn what was possible.

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