Trying to come up with the right words is difficult.
I guess I would just like to say that because of the AIS team I have been able to talk about what happened to me those so many years ago. That summer was the turning point in my life and I’m sure that things would have been a lot different for me if it wasn’t for Scout camp. I had dreams of maybe being a forest ranger or conservation officer. Maybe a policeman like my grandfather. That all changed. After camp I resented anyone in an authoritative position. Running with the “wrong crowd” and drugs and alcohol came into my life by the time I was fourteen. Looking back now I can see when everything changed. I had not told a soul of this until I told my wife about ten years ago. I never mentioned it again until I spoke with Andrew Van Arsdale and the team from AIS. Andrew and his team are the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time. I’ve been carrying around this shame, yes that’s how it feels, like I’m ashamed of myself for letting this happen to me. Because of Andrew, I don’t feel that way anymore. If this brief note helps someone else come forward, great. I was not alone in the abuse that summer at camp. My tent mate suffered the same humiliation but will not come forward to join us in our pursuit of some sort of restitution. He acknowledges it when we talked last year, but I think he is still too embarrassed to speak out.
I hope this helps in some way.
Bob in Connecticut