Congratulations to our two 2019 essay contest winners!

Each year, Camp Pocono Trails invites those “up to the challenge” to submit a 500 word “Imagine Me” essay for a 9-week Campership at our spectacular camp. This year Xander and Jaelyn are our winners and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome them to camp this summer! We were moved by their essays and look forward to helping them achieve their healthy goals. Here are their essays:


Being selected for this “Campership” may be the only way I get to attend Camp Pocono, and if it were to happen, I will pour my heart and soul into it. I have had a successful life so far at age 12. I have become the starting center of my football team, a straight A student, and a Golden Scholar. There is one very big thing about my identity I am worried about though. That thing is my weight. I have been laughed at, called names, and even bullied. I have tried my best to go jogging at my neighborhood park and push-ups at my house. I am willing to put the work in and do as much as I know. Unfortunately, nothing has changed. I am still an overweight, out of shape 12-year-old. If I get to go to this camp and lose some weight, finally make some friends, plus have fun while doing so, I believe it will change my life for the better. It doesn’t sound like it, but when I get home, I would certainly have enough energy to continue working out. Also, I will use my new found knowledge in real life situations, like when I am eating/cooking or during recess at school when I can do some workouts. To explain, I will learn what healthy balanced ways to eat. Additionally, I will learn what is nutritional and I won’t feel ashamed that I do workouts while it is recess time. To add, if I lose weight then the chances are I can make new friends since I will be more energetic and can keep up with the opponents during active games like basketball or soccer. That’s how it would definitely redirect me down a greater path. It may just be reading and picking a winner to you, but it means the world to me. Please consider me as a valid candidate for this “Campership” and thank you very much for your time.


Imagine me on a surfing board, finally letting go of all or my insecurities. Me, a eighth grader with a single mother meaning an one income family, riding the glistening waves. Most people who see me walking down the street probably think I’m just a girl with no story to tell but imagine me telling everybody how I overcame my fears by learning that a simple girl like me had an opportunity like this. Me. a quiet african american teenager with an exceptional ability of reading, writing, and singing, laughing loudly while mentoring others just like me. A dream so outgoing some would say it’s rare. That going to the most awesome, heart-thrilling camp with many challenges would be overbearing for a small girl like me. I say, challenge accepted. It’s going to be many times where I am going to have to face many challenges head on. I will not back down. My dream is that I will be able to show other that it doesn’t matter where you from or if you are in an low income family, you can go anywhere you want to go or be whoever you want to be. Imagine me bringing the girls of this generation up and paving the runway for younger kids just by this trip. Imagine me standing on a stage telling the world how this trip lead me to being determined to being myself and others onto a path of success and teaching younger kids how to respect themselves because nobody can love them like they can.

You can live by two things. You can live by the quote F.E.A.R. (forget everything and run). This basically means fearing of never being able to do life changing thing because of your family or your fears of not being what everybody else wants you to be. That’s how you can chain yourself down to low self-esteem or always thinking that you can’t do it. Or you can be brave and live by F.E.A.R (face everything and rise). Imagine me being somebody’s inspiration all because of a trip. Imagine me showing someone that overcoming your fear can be rewarding in itself. Imagine me live streaming showing everybody how much fun I am having. Imagine me showing off my new, stronger personality and expanding my comfort zone which also me expanding my intelligence. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? From all the testimonies I’ve read, it seems to be that this camp can help me in my ability to rise up in action and faith. Most of the testimonies I read were how girls went shy and came back confident. I can only dream about how they felt. From the day I read those stories, have always wanted to go. I want to be stronger in the body and mind, which is my strongest weapon. I believe this camp can help me do it. Just imagine me!


Two lucky children will win a 7 week + 4 day sleep-away camp experience this summer (called a “Campership”) at Camp Pocono Trails location in Reeders, PA. Camp Pocono Trails helps overweight children lose weight and build self-esteem in a fun, nurturing and healthy environment. The retail value of the Campership for two campers is $21,180.

The Camp Pocono Trails Contest is open to children ages 7-17, who are legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States or the District of Columbia.


The Official Contest dates will be from now thru June 1, 2020. Transportation will be provided for each Winner to and from the camp at select drop-off and pick-up locations. All other transportation is the responsibility of the winners.


Entrants will submit an official entry form and a written essay of no more than 500 words, typed and double-spaced, titled “Imagine Me! I’m Up for the Challenge at Camp Pocono Trails.” The Contest will be judged by a panel of experts based on elements including compelling nature of the story, clarity and creativity. Essay entries must be accompanied by a photograph.

Entry form must be signed by entrant and his or her parent or legal guardian. No part of the entries will be returned to the sender, and the entries will become the property of Camp Pocono Trails.