This summer, Matt Fisher, served as a mentor in Montana at LifeCampUSA 2.0 with some of our repeat campers from the past year.
Matt currently serves as a U.S. Navy chaplain. He transitioned from pastoral church ministry to the Navy chaplaincy ten years ago with a desire to help those serving our country navigate and overcome life’s inevitable challenges both on and off the battlefield. From equipping families with life skills, to encouraging young service members to live with intentionality, Matt has set out to guide others to their God-given design and potential. When Matt learned about LifeCampUSA, he immediately realized that its mission to bring support, inner strength, and purposeful direction to the lives of young men was in sync with his own. LifeCampUSA also provides aftercare to a community that is near and dear to his heart: families that have lost loved ones in the line of duty.
Matt first understood the importance of robust aftercare to surviving family members during his experience as one of the responding chaplains to an aviation mishap that killed 12 Marines. The gravity of the loss and shock felt by family members during Matt’s home visits was one of devastation and disbelief. One service member left behind a wife and 4 young children. Another had just celebrated the birth of his first child. The loss of these service members left a gaping void and an uncertain future for their families.
During LifeCampUSA 2.0, Matt witnessed the team of mentors, who were referred to as “uncles”, make a vital investment to help fill the void of an absent father figure as they encouraged the campers to keep moving forward in the midst of pain and discouragement and to believe in their value and potential as God’s unique creation. This played itself out when one of the young men wanted to give up during the final leg of a hike which involved navigating a long, massive incline. Several of the uncles helped to pace this young man and spur him on to give him the fortitude to dig deep within himself until he experienced the taste of achievement.
On the rifle range, one camper was getting discouraged because he was the only one not hearing the satisfying “ding” sound from hitting a target. He had all but given up, not wanting to make any more attempts, when one of the skilled, marksman uncles took him under his wing and mentored him until the camper heard the sound reaped from a willingness to persevere. LifeCampUSA 2.0 provides important aftercare after their time at camp to young men who need direction and motivation from a father figure who can point them toward a future of purpose and meaning. Being a part of this unique opportunity to serve Gold Star and LEO families is something Matt will treasure for a long time, and LifeCampUSA hopes to have him back to mentor in years to come.