Weekday mornings in the summertime aren’t like other mornings at the Tucker house.
One wake-up call from Lydia Tucker, and her two children, Juelz, 12, and Justyce, 13, are up and ready.
“It’s refreshing that your kids get up in the morning and look forward to going and having fun,” she says.
For five weeks every summer, Juelz and Justyce join other children in swimming, playing sports, singing songs and going on field trips with the LifePath Christian Ministries summer camp, The Lighthouse.
It feels like family
Lydia and her husband Charles’ biological kids, who are in their 30’s now, all went to The Lighthouse summer camp. So, when Juelz and Justyce, their adopted children, were old enough, there was no question they’d go to camp, too.
The counselors at The Lighthouse really pay attention to the kids, Lydia says.
They talk with the campers and get to know them to make sure when they pair off with other campers — it’s a good fit.
Many of the staff used to be campers themselves.
“It feels like family,” she says. “Always.”
Justyce had a rough life before Lydia and Charles adopted her, and it’s affected her social skills.
But this summer, Lydia’s noticed a difference in her daughter.
“She’s bubbly, she’s happy,” Lydia says.
She’d had a few issues with girls in her school — 8th grade can be a tough time — but at camp, she’s been fine. Not only has she not had any conflicts, she’s actually making friends. That’s a win in Lydia’s book.
Juelz takes medication for ADHD during the school year. But this summer, he hasn’t taken a single pill. When his counselor sees him start to get hyper, he works with Juelz to help him calm down and focus, without any meds.
The technique has spread from camp to home.
“Mom, I gotta go in beast mode right now,” he’ll tell Lydia.
That means he needs to get his mind focused, she says.
A rounded experience
For Lydia, the religious aspect of camp is important. She likes that her kids come home singing Christian songs they learned on the bus and talk about devotions.
She’s also glad that they’re spending their summer out doing things like exploring new parks and going on field trips.
Her kids come home raving about their day and excited for tomorrow.
And she knows next year they’ll both be excited to go back for more adventures.