Meet LifeCamper, Wyatt

Wyatt’s journey… 

Gaining a profound understanding of life, particularly during one’s formative years, is a circumstance no parent or guardian wishes for their child. Especially when it is wrapped in a traumatic life experience. At the age of 7, Wyatt lost his dad, Officer William Mathews. He was killed in the line of duty after serving as a police officer for over 20 years. While removing debris from the road, he was struck and killed by an impaired motorist. 

As Wyatt’s mom, I know it is my job to help him navigate this journey, but how? Lots were being asked of us as “survivors”; everything that was asked was filled with the ceremony. I was continually opening the wound. While all this was done with the best intentions, I knew I needed to find a place where Wyatt could be with peers whose stories looked the same. Every camp I found was just not right. I prayed that an opportunity would arise for Wyatt.  

Fast forward to many nervous calls, emails, and texts with Jane Neumann of LifeCampUSA. I decided to send Wyatt to the June LCUSA camp in Montana. It was February 2022; how would I tell him I was putting him on a plane to a week-long camp in Montana? All the “mom” apprehensions set in. How will I get him on the plane by himself? These are strangers picking him up at the airport; can you trust them? What will I do for a week? He needs me. What if (when) it goes bad, I’ll have to go get him. Well, he got on the plane and that was just the beginning.  

Wyatt arrived in Montana…. 

I received the planned text from Daniel Craig.  Wyatt had landed and was doing good. The next time I heard from Wyatt was on day five. He was having a blast! Our phone conversation lasted only a minute or two. I finally exhaled.  

After returning home from Montana, I could see the change in Wyatt. He told me that he no longer felt ashamed of his story. He was proud to tell it. He has taken an additional interest in helping at home, cooking a meal a week, welcoming more responsibility around the house, becoming more diligent with his homework, and supporting me as his mom. LifeCampUSA helped instill confidence that I couldn’t, to believe in himself, and to help him build a foundation that he can always fall back on. What a priceless gift.  

I am so grateful for Wyatt’s experience at LifeCampUSA. It was exactly what he needed at a time when he was ready to receive it. LifeCampUSA has offered amazing, continued support through the opportunity for Wyatt to participate in a weekly bible study/check-in and monthly more intimate support from the mentors and campers from his week at camp. 

He is looking forward to the opportunity to attend LifeCampUSA 2.0!