On 8/2/2016, one of the two students the Magnolia Rotary Club sent to the YMCA Blue Ridge Camp, Bernard Redeo spoke to the Magnolia Rotary Club members about his experience at the camp. The other student was Jesse Merten but he was unable to be at the meeting. Pictured above is Bernard Redeo.
Bernard Redeo, a Conroe ISD student, told everyone that his trip to the YMCA Blue Ridge Camp was awesome and life changing! He explained that the sheer beauty of the camp simply overwhelmed him every day he was there. When asked about what a typical day was like, he explained that after breakfast every day, the almost 500 students who attended, had a morning devotional that was one of his favorite parts of the day because in that idyllic setting, it seemed like God was closer than ever. The devotional consisted of singing and Bible readings that just helped to make the rest of the day's activities fantastic! Bernard also said the students we given quite times and other activities including hiking and sports. Bernard kept saying how beautiful the mountains were and how many friends he made while there. Bernard also like the food that was provided. The YMCA Blue Ridge camp is located just outside of Asheville, North Carolina in the Black Mountains. 
Bernard told everyone about an evening party called "Family Night" where "Family" was the friends in the camp. 
When asked about the bus trip getting there, Bernard told us that although it was a 20+ hour trip, the buses were really nice and the trip was planned so that only one kid was assigned to a seat so that they could lay down and nap if needed. However, when leaving, he simply wanted to stay longer and the trip back seemed longer than the one getting there.
Bernard also pointed out that it was a lot cooler in the mountains than here in Texas and night times were really nice around a campfire. The students stayed in dorms but they were not crowded. Also, all students were required to sign a contract stating that no cell phone usage would be allowed while in camp.
Bernard thanked the Rotarians several times for allowing him to go to the camp.
Bernard's mom than thanked the group and told everyone that she was a little apprehensive at first because the camp was so far from home. However, she knew that she had to let Bernard experience and learn from such an experience. She noted that Bernard, who wants to be a pastor someday, seemed to have matured after the camp and is even nicer to his three brothers. He also learned from having a daily schedule of activities that seemed to make him more independent than prior to going to the camp.
For information about the camp, go to: https://www.blueridgeassembly.org/
The photo below is of Bernard's family (except for his Father who had to work).