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Dominque Skinner (left) joins one of the campers at Potosi Pines Camp.

‘Camp means love’

Dominque Skinner
November-December 2016

Abundant grace

Camp Potosi literally changed my life.

I first came to Potosi Pines Camp at the age of 9. I was in foster care and had been bounced around from home to home. Some were not nice places, and I was left feeling lost and unloved. I am so grateful that my case worker knew of Potosi and made sure I got to summer camp. There I experienced a powerful love and acceptance. I knew that I belonged. It was on the last night of camp that I found my faith. Even at nine years old, I could feel God's love and knew that there was a bigger plan for my life. That faith has helped me to stay positive even when life gets hard. Since then I have been dedicated to God and to Potosi Pines Camp.

A few years later my caseworker involved me in the "Counselors 4 Christ" teen leadership program through Potosi. I made some great friends, learned valuable leadership skills and was blessed to be able to serve as a counselor for summer camp. I have served in volunteer leadership at Potosi for the past seven years. Each time I learn something new from the kids and other staff! I see now how God placed me at this camp to help reach kids who are struggling like I was. I have been able to love and support so many campers as a counselor. Because I have been there, I can relate to many of their struggles.

To me, camp means love. It is a place where there is always love – no matter what. It is a place where you can more clearly hear God and feel that love. Potosi is the place where I feel the most free; free from technology, free from negativity and free from worries. I know that I can impact the lives of other campers, just as the staff did (and are still doing) for me.

Dominique Skinner, 21, lives in Arizona where she is enrolled in a community college and working part-time on campus. Tracey Brown, director of Potosi Pines Camp near Las Vegas, Nevada, contributed to this story. She continues to assist and support Dominique. Potosi is a camp and retreat center of the Desert Southwest Conference.