First Day of Camp!
What a day… Our day started with a two-mile hike leading to a spectacular view and a 200 ft. repelling opportunity for the kids. The guide called it “challenge by choice”. I was stunned to watch a vast majority of our kids strap into the harness and go off the side of the cliff alone. We discussed the idea of commitment with them, as once you lean off the edge there was no turning back. Lifelong memories were made, and commitment will be more a more tangible concept in the future. The afternoon included paintball and field games; the camp was full of laughter and storytelling that would rival any fishing tale. Memories are a powerful form of change. For us to be able to add positive memories into their brain’s library is crucial for their future success. It changes who they think they are.
The day ended with a “night hike” to bears cave. Advertised as a 45-minute walk in the dark woods to a cave and ending in s’mores; it felt a bit more like a Gilligan’s Island cruise (if you are younger than 30 you might Google that one). Our guide, unfortunately, “missed” some of the signs on the trail. An hour and a half later, after crossing five bridges, a small river, running out of songs to sing, and no cave; he sheepishly confessed. All 50 of us turned around and headed back for camp wet feet and all. We did stop and have s’mores more as an energy load than entertainment; returning to camp around midnight.
There should have been a revolt. We should have had to call in the search and rescue. We didn’t. These kids are amazing, more remarkable than any kids I have ever worked with. The harder the night became the stronger they became. The greater the challenge presented, the more amazing they and The Children’s Home staff responded. Let me tell you. These people are for real. Everyone can go for a hike; not everyone can climb over when they hit the wall. Our future is bright; these kids are going to be catalysts of change in their family. I am glad I get to be a part of their family… they make me better.