Salkehatchie Summer Missions: What it means to me

At the age of seventeen, my life changed in a way that was somewhat out of the blue. While growing up, I was very involved in the church. From attending Sunday service and Sunday school from the time I was little, to then becoming involved in the youth group throughout Middle and High school, my life consisted of lots of Jesus. Although I made the choice to go through Confirmation in 7th grade, my independent Faith journey really began once I reached High School, when I found my home away from home. 

Salkehatchie, a Summer missions program, began back in 1978. In the beginning, forty Methodists from South Carolina joined together to help restore homes of those in need. Evolving since then, Salkehatchie has grown to over 46 different locations throughout the state of South Carolina, with over 2,000 campers who all volunteer a week of their summer vacation to come together to do God’s work by assisting homes in local areas, all while finding faith and friendship with one another. 

Due to COVID, all camps in the summer of 2020 and now 2021 were cancelled. Although it was the decision that needed to be made, it still saddens my heart to know that it will have been three years since I’ve seen my full Salk family together by the next time we are able to go next.

Through Salk, I have found a group of people from all around the state that have supported me, grown up with me, and helped me learn so many important life lessons and skills. Going to college, I didn’t know many people at Winthrop but I had friends from camp that lived up in Fort Mill; They were always there for me and gave me some familiar faces to see whenever. Salkehatchie has also introduced me to my best friend and love of my life, of which I will forever be grateful for. 

Not only have I formed amazing friendships with my fellow campers but also the homeowners I have been fortunate to serve. Hearing about their lives and faith stories have been so inspiring and allowed me to see the Lord through them which is truly incredible. I have learned how to work in a team setting, act as a role model for the youth, use power tools that I never thought I would have ever learned how to use, and find various ways to do God’s work.

My heart hurts knowing that I won’t be able to go “back home” this summer for camp but I am blessed for all Salkehatchie has already given me and will continue to give me in the future.