Trevor Matthews Sends Eight Kids to Experience Camps

By Robert Loper

Trevor Matthews was my favorite kid of all time. Funny, brilliant, curious, mischievous, opinionated, athletic, competitive, and much more. I first met Trevor, the son and grandson of family friends, when he was five, shortly after his parents moved back East.

Trevor was with his Dad, and I could tell from his upturned face that he was feeling left out of the adult conversation we were having. I squatted down to speak with him eye-to-eye, and he immediately lit up. So many children that age are shy around new people, but Trevor was eager to engage, especially with a grown-up. Although we didn’t talk about anything extraordinary that day (starting kindergarten, rolling down a nearby embankment, favorite foods, and sports), I somehow intuited from our exchange that he was not only smart and hilarious but also extraordinary—and I looked forward to watching his life unfold.

Of course, I could never have guessed how short his life would be. When Trevor died on April 6, 2021, at the age of 12, my grief was exacerbated when I thought of the enormous waste of potential:  Trevor could have done amazing things and built his own impressive legacy, but he simply didn’t live long enough.

I started thinking about how I might create a legacy on Trevor’s behalf, to honor his life and help keep his memory alive. I was introduced to the national nonprofit organization Experience Camps by Trevor’s younger sister, who attended sessions at one of their no-cost, week-long camps for grieving children in 2021 and in 2022. She told me how much fun she had at camp, and what a relief it was to be able to share her feelings with other children who are coping with grief and loss. I realized quickly what an awesome program this was because I could see firsthand how it was benefitting another child that I love.

As I thought more about it, I contacted Experience Camps about making a possible gift. They helped me think about what would be most meaningful, and I kept coming back to how much Trevor’s sister had enjoyed her time at camp—and how much Trevor had loved all three of his siblings.

The result is that I made a gift to Experience Camps (augmented by a matching grant) that will underwrite camp attendance by eight campers who have lost a brother or sister. I look at it as creating scholarships in Trevor’s memory. I hope that each “Trevor Matthews Memorial Scholarship” will allow a camper to heal a little more and be a little happier — and to go on to do greater things.

I love it that, in a small way, whatever amazing things they go on to accomplish will become part of Trevor’s legacy.