Our Place Summer Adventure Camp

Our Place Summer Adventure Camp

 

Please take a few minutes and read this

 

I have been running OPsac camps for 21 years. I am now seeing my campers married with kids, having exciting jobs, traveling all over the world. And I am proud of all of them.

Then one day,  you get a phone call or message, and your heart breaks, you are stunned, confused, this can’t be true… and you sit down… the inside of you feels empty, your soul is weeping. It hurts so much, you pray it is just a dream.

I had one of those messages last Sunday. I was reading thru OPsac Facebook messages, and a new one popped up. We had a young camper in OPsac maybe 13 years ago. His name was Ben Liebgott. His mom told me he was dead.  He died of an overdose.

Ben was a typical 10-year-old when he started camp, and we watched him grow into a teenager. Quickly, Ben became a camp favorite with the kids and the counselors. He and I developed a special relationship. We sat and talked about life, what it meant to be a grown up, the challenges he would face. It was a high honor and privilege to be included in his Bar Mitzva.  He struggled with the Hebrew, but with the help of the Rabbi, he made it through. He was a boy when he walked in the Synagogue and by Hebrew tradition, when he walked out, he was a man. After the ceremony, I was  named  one of  the  people whom Ben felt influenced his life the most. WOW, I felt honored.

He was a great kid. But somewhere along the line, something  went wrong. He died of an overdose smoking synthetic marijuana, and didn’t know it was laced with a fentanyl-like substance. He bought it from a close friend.For years I have been telling campers that none of these drugs were safe, it would change their lives for the worse. With Ben, I failed.

Ben was not the first person to die of an overdose, and I am sure he won’t be the last. But this hurt more than I expected. He left his mom, and his girlfriend with no Ben for the future. He left his friends. And I have to say the world will not be the same without Ben.

His mom asked me to pass this along to you all because…”No mom should have to go through this.”  She wants everyone to know that Ben’s organs saved the lives of 5 people.

I don’t need to lecture about the danger of drugs. You all know the consequences. But I want to encourage you to talk to your kids over and over again about how the need for a high or a low can be achieved so much better with people, or a good vacation, or crying on the shoulder of a friend.  Drugs never solve a problem.  They never fill the void. They only create pain. Be there for them, and tell them the truth. Tell them you love them.

Christine, Ben’s mom, told me that she has started a ministry in Ben’s name. It’s called Blankets from Ben, and you can find them on Facebook at that name. Go and look. Maybe you would want to participate. They give blankets to the loved ones of the person who died so that the parents, or wife, or husband or girlfriend or boyfriend can tuck them in one more time. It is a worthy ministry.

It’s been three days and I thought the feeling of emptiness would go away, the feeling of loss.  Ben was a special young man, but then all my campers are special.

It’s been a little over a year since Ben died, and his mom is still grieving. I don’t know if she will ever stop. She wanted me to share this with you, and please,  you can share it with your friends.

She wanted you to know this because…

No Mom should have to go through this !

Mr Bob

 

 

The least expensive and most active camp in Southern York County.