Chrysalis is a weekend of growth

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By Caleb Moore

Ahh, fall. The time of the year when leaves begin to change, the air begins to cool, and holidays seem to come nonstop. But for some students from Hardin and surrounding counties, autumn means more than breaking out the jackets and sipping warm beverages.

More than 40 teenagers from the surrounding area will be taking part in Chrysalis for the first time. Chrysalis is a Christian retreat that has been a biannual event for more than 20 years, with this fall’s event marking the 48th retreat.

In early November, youth group leaders, Chrysalis alumni, and new attendees will meet at Camp Nikao to take part in what many say is a life-changing experience.

Janelle Williams, a junior in high school, is one of the many students who will be taking part in the weekend experience. Every student who attends Chrysalis is sponsored, or asked to attend, by someone who has previously been a camper at Chrysalis. Williams attends New Hope Community Church, where she heard about Chrysalis years ago.

“I want to go to Chrysalis to walk closer to God and to grow in my Christian faith”, she said.

Participants such as Williams will take part in a weekend that emphasizes fellowship with fellow believers, learning through talks given by student leaders and worship, which is led by a praise band made up of musicians from multiple local churches.

But it doesn’t end there. Many of those who attend Chrysalis make commitments to serving Christ, even after the weekend is over. Some of the campers actually go on to help facilitate future Chrysalis Walks.

Samantha Reams, a Chrysalis Walk 43 alumnus, will be serving as the Chrysalis Walk 48 Youth Lay Director.

“It’s a weekend experience that teens around the area take part in to grow in Christ,” said Reams, “and ultimately this program changes hearts and changes lives.”

Reams was ecstatic when she learned she would be able to help with this year’s program, she said.

“Ever since I came to Chrysalis, I’ve always wanted to come and work it. Serving at a Chrysalis is just as good as or better than being on it as a camper, because serving Christ is the most meaningful thing that someone can do with their life.  It’s just amazing to see how lives are changed.” From preparing food, to leading talks, to doing behind the scenes work, all of the service is by those who came to a past Chrysalis as a camper and want to give back.

Past and future campers agreed that this Chrysalis is guaranteed to be a fulfilling weekend full of excitement and learning. 

“Chrysalis is a spark that starts a fire in every student that attends, so that afterwards everyone can see that these people have changed,” Reams said.

Caleb Moore is a senior who is home schooled.