We'll share a full recap next week, but I wanted to share this final thought on this Friday when all our kids are headed home from the last overnight camp of 2016. On the last night of #CRSFcamp, we ask campers to vote on a camper of the week from their team. There is only one from each team, but there are usually many nominees. One chaperone remarked that it was neat to see that the kids all saw different things in each other, despite having only known each other for a few short days. Usually they just write names, but one camper wrote a reason:
We all get scared. Sometimes we figure it out on our own, but at some point in our life, we (hopefully!) have all had someone in our life who helped us be brave. Maybe it was a parent, coach, teacher, sibling, a teammate. Maybe it was someone we've known for a long time, and maybe it's someone we might not see again. Our friends at WhyTry call these people lifelines.
At camp, we ask our campers to try new things, which can be scary, even if they don't involve heights or wearing a harness. Staying away from home for the first time, being surrounded by people you don't know, trying things while saddled with beliefs and labels about all the things you think you're not good at. We all react in different ways, whether it's with tears, with tummy aches, or with putting up walls.
Watching chaperones and other coaches talk to and push through to act as lifelines for our campers this week was awesome. But even more amazing is watching kids who just met act as lifelines for each other. It is how they have learned to be from the life coaches around them, at camp, back at home, on the field, and off.
Working with kids isn't easy, and sometimes it doesn't seem like you are getting through. And maybe, in that moment, you are not getting through (yet) to the kid in front of you. Remember that it doesn't mean you aren't having an impact at all, even if you aren't around to see it.