Name: Shelby Anders
Staff: 2007-2008, 2011
Now: 2 years out from a double lung transplant, living and working in Dallas TX, engaged to be married in the fall.
As so many others have said, Camp Deer Run is a very special place for me. It was a place I felt safe and immune from the realities of my life. As many of you know, I was diagnosed at a young age with a devastating heart and lung condition, and camp was the first place I went after being diagnosed as a young teenager. I remember being scared and unsure of how my life was going to be moving forward. After my week of camp, Ty Ford, who was well aware of my circumstances, pulled me aside and said that Deer Run would love to have me back for the next session. That next week, the staff, campers, and God worked with and through me to give me the best experience possible. That week at camp is still the most fun I’ve ever had during a session. My life was changing and would be a challenge for the years to come. That week at camp set the tone for the rest of my life, and it has been one full of love, laughter, and an adoration for God. I was a scared young teenager wondering how I was going to cope with the news I had been given, and one week at camp gave me so much peace. I felt like it was all going to be okay, and I’ve been able to take this head-on ever since. Deer Run is a place that nurtures and cultivates a loving relationship with God and his disciples, which is why I served 3 summers on staff. I wanted to try and pass on that love for God and love for camp.
My Prayer: Lord, please be with the staff, and let them lead in a way that shows your light. Let camp be a place where everyone can escape from the troubles of the world and just feel you embrace them. Let everyone leave this summer with your strength and to spread your hope wherever they go. Help camp to continue to grow and touch lives. Amen