Shelby Foit is one of our awesome program interns this summer. Here’s her recap of our first #CRSFcamp of 2014!
On May 27th, I made the journey to North East, Maryland, to begin my first camp experience ever. The drive in was nerve wracking, I didn’t know what to expect. There were around 100 kids coming in from Mississippi and Atlanta and for many of them, like myself, this was their first time at camp.
As we passed out all of their equipment, the kids were very shy, and so was I. But throughout the camp, they started to come out of their shells and make new friends. We started out the day early with breakfast and then we were on our way to Ripken Academy. On the bus, the kids were so eager to get to the fields and run some drills.
After lunch came the part that the kids seemed to enjoy the most, games. The games were awesome for me to watch because everyone was involved and having a great time. Whether they were losing or winning, the kids were always smiling. With so many volunteers from the US Marshals and the Maryland National Guard, the kids were able to get a lot of attention and one on one coaching. The US Marshals and Maryland National Guard also brought vehicles and equipment and demonstrated how they used this gear in their jobs to serve and protect.
Now back to the overnight camp facility for the night where the kids enjoyed free time and ropes course. I had the pleasure of helping out at the ropes course, and it was great to see these kids encouraging their teammates through the obstacles. Their leadership skills really came out during the ropes course.
After dinner at nightly programming, we did various activities, including one called “Tearing Off Your Labels,” which is part of our newest curriculum piece* with our partner, WhyTry. This is my favorite activity that we did at camp. The kids are told to write down labels that people call them on one side of the paper and what they see themselves as on the other side. As I walked around the room, I saw some of the most heartbreaking labels “Dumb, Ugly, Fat…”
But one caught my attention. One boy had nothing written down and had his head in his lap. So I sat down to try and help him. He kept saying, “he’s nothing, he’s nobody.” This broke my heart, but after talking to him and figuring out only a few of his amazing attributes that were part of who he really was, he stood up and ripped apart those labels with a huge smile on his face. Knowing that he could be whoever he wanted to be—mission achieved.
I remember thinking to myself, “If every day is this rewarding, this will be the greatest week of my life!”
And it was. A big thank you to all of our chaperones and campers, US Marshals, Maryland National Guard, Southwest Airlines, Walmart, Under Armour, Rawlings, Louisville Slugger, and Marucci Sports for making it an awesome week of #CRSFcamp!
*Stay tuned for more on Healthy Choices, Healthy Children: Resilience Edition!