Saturday Snapshot – Why Am I At A Camp For Those Infected and Affected By AIDS?


For today’s Saturday Snapshot I thought I would share with you where I have been this past week.  I am on a Camp Board for a Camp called Camp Benedict.  This camp is an educational camp for those infected and affected by AIDS.  The camp is a family camp, which means we have men, women, and children at camp, and we have people who have obtained AIDS through many different ways:



Blood transfusions (before they tested blood back in the 80’s)

and yes, children born with AIDS


My connection to this camp and cause stems back 5 years, and you can read about it here.  During the year we have a large event and a bike ride to raise money to provide camp for free to those who attend.  The camp is the only one like it in a 6 state range.

Anyhoo… here are some of the pics from this past week:


Cap Benedict, Book Journey
This year was the 20th year of Camp Benedict!



Camp Benedict is an education camp and throughout the week there will be different speakers covering topics like- stigma, health, medications, laws, men’s groups and women’s groups.


We bring in experts on different topics and from different agencies to help answer questions.
While the adults are in classes, the kids have their own things going on with Camp K staff. They also have their own classes where they learn about AIDS and about how to be supportive of their parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc…
Camp Benedict
The camp provided meals and snacks.


Camp Benedict, Book Journey
Of course camp is not all work and study – it is after all… camp. 🙂 From lunch time (noon) to 5:30 (dinner time) is free time and the camp provides water sports, horse back riding, massage, Reiki, pontoon rides, and a trip to the Dairy Queen. Or – you can do as I did… sit in the warm sun read a bit and take a nap 🙂


Camp Benedict, Book Journey
On the first day of camp we all wrote down words associated with what we thought when we first heard about AIDS. We put those words in a box and on the last evening of camp we burned those words.


Camp benedict, Book Journey
On the last night we have a closing ceremony and then we have KARAOKE and a dance for all the campers. It was so fun to watch the little kids!


Our DJ this year was fantastic and she really provided fun things that involved all ages


Jason Hatton, Book Journey, Camp Benedict
Friendships are built in that week of camp. Jason has been to camp three times. It’s always great to see old friends and make new ones too!


It is tradition at camp that on the last day as the bus leaves the camp K staff builds a pyramid to wave off the campers.



Camp Benedict, Book Journey
The close of Camp Benedict 2014.


So why am I a part of this camp?  I LOVE what it is doing.  I love Connie Statz, the woman who bravely 20 years ago had an idea for a way to support others with AIDS and she ran with her vision and this that I just showed you – is the AMAZING result.  I love working with this board of people all striving to encourage, support, and teach.  And I love the campers, I enjoy getting to know people throughout the week, listening to their stories and knowing that I am helping to provide a good take-away from them hanging out at this beautiful camp.

Thanks everyone who serves on the Camp Benedict Board and Friends of Camp Benedict.  Thanks to the camp staff, and of course to all the campers who travel from all over to have a week at a beautiful camp and hopefully leave with a great experience.

If you would like to support Camp Benedict, here is a link to my support page where I raise funds for the bike ride in August which goes directly to the camp.


Be sure to check out other Saturday Snaphot posts ans see what everyone else is taking pictures of this week 😀

41 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot – Why Am I At A Camp For Those Infected and Affected By AIDS?

  1. This camp sounds like a very special place. I love the idea of a camp where people with or affected by AIDS can come together to learn but also to relax, live fully, feel joy, and know they’re not alone. I salute you for all you do to make such a wonderful opportunity take place each year.

  2. Sheila, this post made me cry. What a beautiful thing for such a sad reason. I expect you come away feeling very good about helping brighten these people’s lives in whatever way you do, and feel grateful for life itself on an even deeper level. Bless all of you. If I ever have enough money, I plan to support the effort, for sure.

  3. What a terrific experience for people who can use some terrific experiences in their lives! I love how much fun this looks! Great photos!

  4. I am in awe of how selfless you are in giving to others. I was single and a bit “wild” in the 1980’s. While living in Tampa FL I was single and working and became friends with a neighbor. Chris was also single and we lived for fun. As women who came of age in the 70’s we had the convenience of birth control and a free spirit about sex. Honestly yes we both slept around a lot, and a condom was never part of our thoughts. In 1988 Chris was donating blood at work, a common thing for her and she received a letter in the mail that her blood had been found to contain the HIV virus. I may have been the first or second person she told. It was awful, frightening and a wake up call. She narrowed down her partners and she contracted HIV from a man who had received unchecked blood. While Chris was in my wedding in 1990, I’m sad to say we’ve lost touch and I’m unsure of her current status.
    Thank you for doing what you do…such a wonderful gift.

    1. Candace I think we all have our things that we do. 🙂 I look at other peoples lives and think that would be awesome! Your editing career is one that I envy…. you are close to the books and that is really my dream… to be in the publishing industry would be incredible!

  5. Terrific post, Sheila! What a great place for letting folks network, relax, learn new things, and have a summer break! Good on you for being a part of making it happen!

  6. Sheila, I cannot express how much you mean to me,, My real friends are counted on my one hand because of all the stigma I am careful on who I trust. And you my dear friend and prankster pal, I have trusted you with my life story and have always felt safe around you. Thus I feel just as safe having you be such an important part of my camp.
    I do so love and admire you,

    1. Just wanted to say it was beautiful to hear (read) something like that from someone who knows you personally and up-close, Sheila. We who haven’t (yet), though through the internet, pick up on what Connie’s expressed here. “You” shine through 🙂

  7. An inspiring post, Sheila. You provide such a generous spirit to the blogging community. I saw your comment on Miracle Cure by Harlen Coben and think it might be embraced by the HIV community because I don’t know how many fiction or thriller books really deal with that. It’s certainly not his best work, but it’s worth reading for any Harlan fan 🙂

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