BUCKINGHAM TOWNSHIP -- "Mr. Beigel was my hero and he will forever be my hero. I will never forget the actions he took for me and fellow students in the classroom."
When a gunman opened fire at a Florida high school this week, students say geography teacher Scott Beigel protected them.
They say while the shooter was chasing them through the halls, Beigel opened his classroom door to get students to safety.
He was shot and killed.
"I am alive today because of him," said Kelsey Friend of Florida.
Beigel was also a camp counselor at Camp Starlight in Wayne County during summers.
Camp leaders issued a statement on Facebook that reads in part:
"The Starlight family is wrapping their arms around each other today singing from our hearts to starlight's beloved friend and hero, Scott Beigel.”
Friends and campers call Beigel "a wonderful counselor and mentor," "a hero" and "a very special person."
"If I could see him right now and if he was still here and got out of the hospital, I was talking to my mom, I would give him a huge teddy bear to say thank you, but unfortunately, I can't do that. I will not let this shooting go down as another one because people are not understanding this is not going to stop,” said Friend.
CNN spoke to Beigel's mother who said her son's summer's at Camp Starlight made him want to become a teacher.
"That was his passion, being in camp was Scott's passion," said Linda Beigel Schulman. "When he had to pick a profession, we joked about it. If you want to keep going to camp 'til you're old and gray, you need to be a teacher."
Scott Beigel will be buried Sunday.