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Becky's Story

Tuesday, 28 May, 2019 - 10:27 am

Becky's story.png 

I was a junior counsellor at a popular overnight camp in the Laurentians.

Camp was a blast. At some point during the summer (this was 11 years ago so I don't remember exactly which point), a couple of people from what is now Chabad Lifeline visited camp to talk to us about addiction.

I knew about drugs and alcohol from TV (and from experiences with my Mom at home). But I never felt like they applied to my situation. Yeah ok, drugs are dangerous. But what does that have to do with me?

Chabad Lifeline's workshop slammed home. Hit me in the gut. They brought this guy, probably 5 years older than me, who shared his story. It wasn't similar to mine but he looked us in the eyes and told us we sometimes had to face our demons. He mentioned his parents and something struck. My heart started hammering.

There was this period of time that probably lasted 10 minutes at most but to me felt like hours, where the Counsellors and the guy in recovery took questions and comments. That's where I opened up a bit. I asked questions related to my situation, and they answered to the point. Without beating around the bush. I discovered that I was an "innocent victim" and that I had to seek help.

That evening, I called my mom and begged her to call Chabad Lifeline for help.

Next morning, my mom called Lifeline. That very afternoon (!), she met with an Addictions Counsellor.

My mom has been in recovery since (and I joined the youth group to get support for me). She's has some setbacks but she works hard and a couple months ago celebrated 5 years of continuous sobriety for the first time.

Adults often look back at their experiences in camp with warmth. For me, a visit from Chabad Lifeline saved my family.


During the summer, kids are more laid back. School's out, and camp is fun. People are more receptive to meaningful messages.  

We've been taking our philosophy on the road to summer camps since the '80s, delivering the atmosphere of our Tuesday Noon Speaker's Meetings in which vulnerability is welcomed and we lead with our weakness, creating a safe space. Our workshops are effective and have saved thousands.

For 30 years, we delivered presentations to schools. Last year, we started placing Addictions Counsellors in the EMSB to serve as integrated members of the school support staff. In the past 12 months, we reached over 4,000 students in these schools.

The success of our school program has led to a new camp program in which we will be placing our Youth Counsellors in various overnight camps two days a week to work on awareness, prevention, and to support children affected by addiction.

To see our camp services flyer, click here.

Please note: names and some factual information in the story has been changed to protect the anonymity of the people in the story.

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