Friday, October 29, 2010

Because I came to CFA.. A singer I will be?!?

Besides a few years of Catholic school choir where I would more often than not perform the rookie mistake of locking my knees while trying to stand on the side of the church altar for an hour, eventually half tumbling to the ground in the middle of a service, I do not sing in public. Shower singing, singing to my pet parrot (in order to make him squawk in annoyance), and singing wildly out of tune at great volume in the car are all in my repertoire, but producing music for a crowd isn't on the menu. I spent four wonderful summers at a boys' camp chanting, whooping, and bellowing battle cries, but singing was considered below the acceptable duties of manliness. (Even though I'm not actually a man.)

And then I came to CFA.

A few hours into my first retreat as a professional staff member, I was asked to perform in a skit— the ever-classic "Invisible Bench." That was acceptable enough, as I had a full two weeks of drama training in middle school and had even blessed the 8th grade stage with my presence as The Head Elf of the Christmas play. And then all of a sudden I was supposed to be co-leading a song. A song I didn't know, for one, and a song that, upon explanation, sounded like a lot of gibberish. I couldn't understand why we thought the strangers in the audience would enjoy gobbledy-gook entertainment, and why I needed to participate. And then there were hand gestures. Hand gestures.

However, wanting to remain well-liked, or at the very least, well-employed, I went along with it, alongside a couple of summer staff members. And it was.. fun. And it didn't matter that I messed up seventy-five percent of the nonsense words, or that my hand gestures were wildly out of sync. And weirdest of all, the small crowd of dads and daughters and sons loved it. And sang along.. Repeat-after-me-style, of course.

Why do we sing at camp? Why is it beyond acceptable and actually fun to look so silly, often in front of such a large crowd, and often entirely out of tune?

I don't think there are any concrete answers, but trust me— if you've given it a try, no matter how reserved you think you might be, it's fun. And beyond fun, it's a true collective experience, which is at the heart and soul of what camp is. "Camp" is never actually a singular noun; "camp" implies a group of people with possibly nothing else in common except a mutual appreciation for being outside and living communally, even if only for a short time. And therefore, communal singing becomes okay and enjoyable. It isn't rare to have campers and counselors cite campfire songs as their favorite camp activity, over horseback riding or high ropes or sports or swimming or cook-out. It's a shared moment, generally wacky and outside of societal norms. It is especially poignant to see a teenager who came to camp sullen, aloof, and disinterested, one evening standing beside an excitable eight year old, both of them belting out "Three Shortnecked Buzzards" while flapping their pretend wings and skipping in the air. It is incredible important as a young person to have moments where one can set aside the cool factor and be a little silly, in a group setting.

And so, I leave you with one of my favorite camp songs, performed in the summer of 2009. "The CFA Song." Take a good look at the audience members, and how different they are. But yet they can all pretend to milk a cow or flush a toilet, and laugh, and sing. It's not technically cool, but at camp, it suddenly is.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

125th Y-Celebration

Bill and I went to the 125th Celebration of YMCA Camping a few weeks ago and I came back with a new appreciation of really how camping got to where it is now. So many times we only look to the future when the past is not only a place where we can learn from but also a place that we need to hold in high regard.

Below is the history of YMCA camping. They gave this to us at the celebration. I will have some thoughts below:

-Notice the quotes that the narrator says or the ones they flash on the screen. My favorite: "The joy and success of a camp depend not on the new pool, the pleasant lodging or the other facilities but on the leadership." Richard T. Schwartz, camper then counselor at YMCA Camp Kern.

-It is really cool seeing the old pictures and history of different camps. CFA actually has 4 pictures in this.

-As it said in the video, the counselor/camper relationship is one of the most important things in summer camps. I remember my first counselors Paul Laudermilk and Brian Sheridan. They took care of me and loved me. Some of their morals rubbed off on me and I have them now. I hope I have made an impact on the campers I worked with as those two did with me.

-This video sums up why I do what I do. Not with what the narrator says, but with all the smiles that are in the pictures.

I Would be Giving. . .

The sixth line of the Ragger's Creed is "I would be giving and forget the gift."

I think this line is pretty self explanatory - you should be willing to give without getting anything back. Gifts are not just things you purchase, but can also be the gift of time helping someone out, a nice note or email, encouraging words and just being a friend. Learning to be giving is a constant life challenge.

Giving can also be defined as being generous. On Wikipedia, I found this: Generosity is the habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return. It can involve offering time, assets or talents to aid someone in need. Often equated with charity and virtue, generosity is widely accepted in society as a desirable trait.

Have you given of time or talent recently? If not, what can you do today to give?

Remember-Youth Empowerment Retreat (click and look for tan box) is coming up December 10, 2010! Sign up today and take this time to renew your Rag goals at camp. Hey Hey CFA-stay pure, stay true, stay strong, stay brave, be a friend, give each day and stay CFA.

I would be true, for there are those that trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.

I would be a friend to all, the foe, the friendless;
I would be giving and forget the gift...

In the Spirit of Camp,


Thursday, October 21, 2010

What makes a great camp horse. [The CFA Definitive Guide]

In my office, I have a piece of paper that's been photocopied a few times. At the top it reads "New Horse Evaluation" and the Times New Roman print carries on with phrases like reaction to injection simulation and ground manners and demeanor while saddling and hoof condition, and so forth. It is a solid document I cannot take credit for, full of equestrian jargon that means a lot to us weird horse people and probably not a whole lot to the average kid who just wants a chance to ride. I take a copy of that paper with me and make sparse notes whenever somebody calls me out to see if their horse would be a good fit for CFA.

The truth is, really, that there is no black-and-white criteria by which a true Camp Horse can be judged. They are each unique and their own "person," if I can borrow that particular species' term. A few common threads appear when you take a look at those in our herd who have given some of the greatest years of service to children in camping— for one, rarely is the truly Great Camp Horse beautiful by the textbook standards of equine confirmation. There is often a long back, sagging with age (see "Charlie) or particularly creaky hocks long tired from years as a competitor in a more taxing equestrian sport (like "Dixie" in her roping days.) We possess a short little fellow who looks more like a grouchy, stubby-legged white rhinoceros than a glittering grey Welsh pony. His name is "Salty," or "Salty Dog," and the grizzly personality matches the name. Luckily, his signature whitish coloration makes him an immediate favorite of almost every little girl who sets her eyes on him, assuaging their dismay when, upon mounting, they realize he's a hard mouthed, cranky pony with a strong desire to eat instead of walk. He would still never dump a child or leave them stranded; he just takes the long way around on his own accord.

That said, onto Common Trait #2.. and I have to contradict myself here. Should you wander through our pasture and take a look at our 27-horse-strong herd, you would see quite a few handsome stock horses, stately Thoroughbreds, flashy paints, and even an Arabian or draft or two. But no great camp horse goes without some personality quirk or flaw that relinquishes them to a life best spent allowing children to climb over their backs and play cowgirl or cowboy. "Hannah," for example, hasn't spent many months with us here at CFA, and you wouldn't peg her as a camp pony very quickly. She has the lovely, stout, functional confirmation of a foundation Quarter Horse and an overwhelming desire to "crib" or "windsuck," meaning she takes about any straight, hard surface in her mouth (think fencing, mainly) and bites down on it and sucks air in through her lungs. The action releases endorphins in her head, which ease some of her lingering social anxiety— Hannah tends to prefer the company of people, especially girls, to most other horses. Yet despite her good looks and being young by camp standards, she carries her charges with grace and care and almost a delicateness in knowing that she has been given something important to watch over. Tall, thoroughbred, elegant "Marquee" was purchased off of the racetrack to join the ranks of competitive eventing horses— the kind most often associated with Olympic horsemanship. An injury in his joint and consequent issues thereafter meant he had to find work elsewhere. Normally, an enormous beast of a very young Thoroughbred horse would be a terrible addition to any traditional camp setting, but Marquee's overwhelming curiosity and desire to be a part of activity and adventure means he excels in the camp environment, normally carrying more advanced riders but nearly always behaving gently for the greenhorns as well.

There are other tests a camp horse must pass beyond having good hooves and a generally quiet disposition. A great camp horse doesn't flinch when a learning challenged child attempts to scuttle from their back in a great wave of panic on a mountainous trail ride. A great camp horse may never have seen a barrel in their life, but performs admirably around three of them while carrying a little girl with the hopes of someday being a champion barrel racer in the National Finals Rodeo. A great camp horse not only stops for particularly tasty grass, but for the stray barn cat who finds themselves a hair's breadth away from getting stepped on. A great camp horse doesn't kick when presented with an errant seven-year-old who attempts to hug their "horsey" via their back legs. A great camp horse protests only very modestly when a Saddle Club student attempts to put a bit in their mouth and misses altogether, clashing with the poor horse's forehead. A great camp horse puts 25 years of hard work and tired bones behind them, and canters home on the last leg of a speed event for a kid who just wants to win something, "for once." A great camp horse enjoys the long hug at the end of a lesson, tolerates kisses on their sensitive velvet nose, and accepts a treat as politely as they can muster.

Lucky for us, we have many great camp horses. They are far from faultless but good-natured creatures. We could learn from their honesty and the faith they put into their often unskilled riders.

I Would be a Friend to All

The fifth line of the Ragger's Creed is "I would be friend to all, the foe, the friendless"

What does this mean? Does it mean you are friends with everyone and spread yourself thin? Or do you have a handful of REAL friends that know your heart's song and can play it back to you when you have forgotten it?

I think the line means both. One, that you do not shun people for differences such as skin color, disabilities, etc, but that you try your best to include everyone in your life on some level. For me, I often think of it in a group setting where everyone doesn't know each other - like the first day of camp. Do you stick to the people you know OR do you stick your hand out and introduce yourself to new people? This is what the fifth line is speaking too-reaching out to others and helping them feel welcome and apart of something greater.

On the other hand, I think true friendships are those people who know you inside and out. A song I love is in the song "Find Out Who Your Friends" are by Tracy Lawrence & friends. The chorus "somebody's gonna drop everything; run out and crank up their car; hit the gas, get there fast, never stop to think what's in it for me; or that it's way too far; they just show on up with their big ole hearts; you find out who your friends are . . ." For my closest friends, this is how I treat them and pray they will treat me - drop everything to help, comfort, push forward and embrace. It is said, if, at the end of your life, there are at least five people you can call your true friends, then you have been truly blessed. I think this is awesome and pray I have formed and keep forming these relationships. My work at camp has allowed me to create such awesome relationships. I am truly blessed.

While there will naturally be those that are closer to you and you love dearly, there will be those friends that you know socially or casually that you speak to but don't share your deepest thoughts. It is imperative in your life you work to stick your neck out to help everyone feel included and not segregate or form "cliques" with just your closest friends. Be a friend to all, the foe, the friendless but remember to form the deep, meaningful relationship as you go.

Remember-Youth Empowerment Retreat (click and look for tan box) is coming up December 10, 2010! Sign up today and take this time to renew your Rag goals at camp. Hey Hey CFA-stay pure, stay true, stay strong, stay brave, be a friend and stay CFA.

I would be true, for there are those that trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.

Be a friend to all, the foe, the friendless.

In the Spirit of Camp,


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


In honor of the book "The Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv. I am going to list off some of my favorite activities to do outside.

1. Running
2. Hiking (Did a lot of at summer camp when I was a camper)
3. Canoeing (learned at summer camp)
4. Archery (learned at summer camp)
5. Sleeping (found my love for it at summer camp)
6. Playing Sports
7. Fishing
8. Reading

I challenge you to go outside and play today or tomorrow or everyday. Why don't you tell me some of your favorite things to do outside?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Would Be Brave

The fourth line of the Ragger’s Creed is “I would be brave, for there is much to dare.”

Brave is defined: "the brave have always defined what the rest of us wish to be. but bravery is misunderstood. it is not the absence of fear, but the will to over come it."

When I think of brave in regards to the Ragger’s Creed I think of several things. First, I think that it is brave of each person that challenges him or her self with a Rag and setting goals. It is brave to step out of you comfort zone and try new things. For me, I feel I have learned to push myself in life through my work with Raggers. For example, right now I am campaigning for election to my local School Board. This is a large step for me and something that really puts me out there publicly as I would be an elected public official – SCARY! For students, you might choose to run for School counsel, try out for a team, learn a new craft / hobby or just reach out to someone as a potential new friend. Being brave is just pushing yourself to reach for more and outside your self. I don’t think that it pertains to being “brave” as in “cool” or doing things that are not healthy or wise. Like doing drugs, driving recklessly or doing something that goes against your values.

One camp dad, Stuart, described an awesome tool for being brave. He said to use a 1 - 10 scale to determine how much fear you have for doing something, 10 being VERY fearful. Then you challenge yourself to be brave and "do you 10" meaning pushing yourself to do things that you are afraid of. So for me, high ropes is a major 10! I am not a fan of heights. So for me to climb to the top of the cat walk or zip down the zip line, that is me doing my 10". What can you challenge yourself with today? Remember, you may not always succeed, but just pushing through and being brave is AWESOME!

Remember-Youth Empowerment Retreat (click and look for tan box) is coming up December 10, 2010! Sign up today and take this time to renew your Rag goals at camp. Hey Hey CFA-stay pure, stay true, stay strong, stay brave and stay CFA.

I would be true, for there are those that trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.

In the Spirit of Camp,


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Counselor Interview: Gemma

Gemma was our co-head lifeguard this past year and came to us from Camp Leaders. She is currently back home in England, but she is planning on coming back to CFA next summer as a counselor.

How is being back home? Do you miss camp?

Well I have been back in England for just over a month now, coming up on a month and a half..And I am only just getting used to not being at camp anymore!!!

Being able to see my family and friends back in England was really nice after being so far away from them for 3 months, and I have had plenty of Texas stories to tell them, some crazy dance moves along to the country songs....and a fair few sayings and words too!!! Y'all, There it is... 'Merica and HEY HEYYYYY are all top contenders in my vocab at the moment :) and not forgetting 'Rookie Mistake'
The time I spent at camp was the best experience of my life so far, and I met some of the most amazing people that will stay in my heart forever and have all made a lasting impact on my life, so it's definitely fair to say that I miss camp a lot, everything about it brings a smile to my face when I think back to the summer that I've had. Every week that goes by means that I'm a week closer to being back out in Texas to the place I love!!!!

What are some of your favorite memories from last summer?

Wow, now that's a tough one, I have so many!!!

The opening days when the new campers would arrive feeling a little bit apprehensive about what awaited them for the week ahead (the nervousness was normally short-lived and dissappeared when we'd made a fool of ourselves by dancing to the random camp songs that were being played on the radio as they arrived!!!)

I used to really LOVE going to Blue Bead ceremony every friday with my cabin :) I'd love the build up to it when the whole camp would be lined up waiting patiently to start our little jouney to the magical atmosphere that was waiting for us along with Otega and Running Bear from the Apache and Comanche tribes. I think that it felt so special because every single camper from youngest to oldest could hear about a story that could relate to their own life journeys, and it's one that will stay with them forever. The fires that were lit when we got there added to the atmosphere too, and I used to love seeing all of the embers floating up into the night sky toward the blanket of stars that were always shining over us all out there.

I'll tell a couple more of my favourite memories and leave it at that because I could carry on going all day!!!

One memory that always makes me smile is when I was with one of the younger cabins for the week, and me & my co-co had been at the climbing wall in strong hall with them. Once we had finished the activity and everybody had a turn, there was our cabin in there and a boy's cabin too. Well there was still a bit of time before we had to head up to lunch so I started a game up with our girls. We had 2 teams, one group of us were all wild animals from monkeys, to tigers and wolves, and the other group were the zoo keepers that had to make sure each animal was inside a cage (the cage was the a square on the floor in strong hall). The boys stood by and watched for a while, and then they came over and asked if they could join in the game too which I thought was pretty cool. So from nothing, we were all in strong hall making random animal noises - running around and laughing. I think that has to be one of my favoutie memories because it was such a simple game, yet everybody wanted to join in and we were all having a great time playing it :)

All of my memories from being with the other counsellors at camp are really nice ones, and thinking back on it now brings a lump to my throat and makes my eyes water at how we all ended up like family after spending such an amazing summer together...we made each other laugh, we gave each other hugs, we made up crazy handshakes & we each left part of our hearts there through the laughterand the love that we shared with each other. 

Where is your favorite place on camp and why?

That would have to be up on Mount Vesper, when the sun was setting and the stars came out. It was one of the most beautiful sights that I have seen, being out beneath all of the stars - with just the moonlight and the subtle light given off each one of the stars, seeing them all twinkling to each other, and reflecting on what had gone on during that day. Being up there and seeing all the stars that are above us in our galaxy always made me feel that the gift of life that we've all been given is way to precious to take for granted, and that letting the small things in life that stress us out sometimes are so insignificant in the whole big scheme of things.

If you could have one thing to take with you from camp what would it be?

If it didn't have to be a material 'something' that I could take with me, then I would choose to take and carry inside me all the time the feeling of complete happiness and belonging that I felt inside every single day this summer, because its a feeling that I would love to be a part of me for the rest of my life.
I really don't know what I would choose if it had to be a material something, because nothing could really beat the memories that I have brought back with me, because they will stay with me forever.

What difference did camp make in your life? 

Being part of the Camp Flaming Arrow family has made a huge difference to my life, one that I can't quite believe.

I arrived at camp thinking that I would just blend into the background, have a bit of fun and then come home at the end of the summer, having met a few new people and maybe wanting to go back.
The reality of it was that I arrived at camp, met some people that would end up being like a family to me, doing things that I would have never dreamed of, being able to make differences to children's lives and being able to be a positive role model for those children to look up to, having the most amazing time of my life, and leaving at the end of the summer with a sense of direction for my life and a sense of purpose and self-belief that was never there before.

Are you planning on coming back next year?

I am definately coming back to camp next year!!! It's something that I look forward to everyday. I can't wait to be back over there and have another amazing summer!!!
What are you looking forward too?

I am looking forward to meeting up with everybody again that I met this year, and also all of the new members of the cfa family that will be part of it all next year :)

Getting taken on as part of the CFA staff is something that has made a huge difference to my life, and I only hope that one day I can make as bigger difference to other people's lives as what all of you guy's have to mine.  

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's a camp dog life.

I fear I have not allotted enough time this week to write a proper blog post. So I asked a friend of mine to step in for the week and let you all get a taste— err, sniff, of his perspective.
I'm surprised nobody let me know about this blogging business before. After all, I am the Official Greeter of all camp events (self-appointed, I admit) and I have a brilliant nose for sniffing out the news and happenings of CFA. Why shouldn't I tell you about it?

Tuck, Leo, and Kansas have gone gallivanting off to the woods today yet again. I did lead them on a little trek up to chase some deer by the cool O.W.L.S. hangout at Fort Clarke, but then I figured they could handle it on their own.. I had some Important Barn Business to attend to, helping MaryAshley with the riding lessons. Somebody has to sit around and catch flies in their mouth, and the horses certainly aren't getting around to it.

The weather has gotten great here at camp— nothing like in the summer, when most of you folks come to visit. Evenings have been in the 40's. Remy the Golden Retriever is still convinced this is swimming weather, though I prefer to chase rabbits along the bank instead of faceplanting into the chilly water. There will undoubtedly be some Adventure Guide campers still water-sliding this weekend, crazy kids! What could be better than chasing rabbits?!

The barn cats are starting to get cheeky. I try to advise the humans that feeding cats is a bad idea (I assert this point by trying to eat their kibble myself, which for some reason always involves a lot of shouting..) but nobody listens. The big orange-and-white cat has started meandering around retreat groups, begging for a handout with big yellow eyes and a pathetic fluffy tail! If you're coming for a weekend in the near future.. DON'T FALL FOR IT!

Truth of the matter is, it can be kind of quiet without summer campers here! There is nobody to hand out ice cream leftovers from afternoon snack anymore, and Bill's Burgers nights are few and far between and there aren't enough unattended picnic plates. I can't wait for June to roll around again and the families for our Session 1 campers start pouring in!

Well, kids, I leave you with this— if you have pets at home, CARE for them and be RESPONSIBLE for their happiness and health! Us camp dogs enjoy lots of time to roam around and get exercise, but your house pet could probably use a little extra playtime today. Would you do that for me?


Thursday, October 7, 2010

I.I.L. Part 2

This is the story that was told at opening campfire every session this summer. This is something from my camp past that really formed the strong belief I have in the benefits of the summer camp experience. This story is about how love change a person's personal image and help them overcome mountains (literally). This is final part of my look at I.I.L.

I grew up going to a camp called Camp Pike. It was a one week Christian hiking camp that was based out of Coppell,  Texas, but the actual camp was in Colorado at the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp, which is in Pike National Forest near Pike's Peak. I started going in 7th grade and continued to be a camper until after my sophomore year of high school. After that you can apply to be a counselor. Luckily, I became a counselor and I got to continue on helping and being part of the camp that I loved.

In my second or third year as a counselor I got to be hikemaster, which is the person in charge of organizing all the hikes from counselors to campers. During the planning, I noticed that there was a camper coming to camp that was deaf -- Trevor. I thought to myself this will be interesting since it was going to be a struggle to communicate with him on hikes. The only problem with that was my ignorance. People who are deaf also have a hard time with balance because balance is in your ears, which of course I didn't realize until he arrived at camp.

Trevor looked like a normal camper and smiled like one as well. It took me awhile to realize who he was because when stepped off the bus he wore a beanie to cover up the implant that was in each of his ears and he would always be smiling. The first night was tough one for Trevor. Something happened in his cabin that scared him. He grabbed the broom and swung it around the cabin, then he ran to his mother who was the camp nurse that weekend (his sister was also a camper that year).

The first time I saw him struggle with his balance at camp was during an evening program. Part of the game was to cross to a creek by hopping across on some rocks. He refused to hop across. His face was white and his  eyes wide. He didn't want to leave his comfort zone. The rest of his cabin had already moved on from that obstacle. I motioned for him to catch up with his cabin on the other side of the bridge. He ran as fast as he could over to them to join them for the last half of the evening program.

On the 2nd to last day we climb Pike's Peak as a camp. Yes, about 100 sixth, seventh and eighth graders climbing a 14,000 ft mountain. It is a long hike that can range from 7 to 12 hours in length. In order to go on this hike you have to complete several preliminary hikes over the first few days of camp.

Trevor struggled with the hikes but he made it through them. My only question about him was going to be his endurance. He was always really tired after the hikes. Keeping your balance over such a long period of time while hiking up a mountain had to take its toll. Besides making it up all the hikes, Trevor had started to be more outgoing. He was trying to communicate more with other campers and counselors. He taught us some sign language (I still do some today). My favorite was stars. It seemed his favorite, especially out at camp because he could actually see them. At the camp dance he asked a girl to dance for the first time in his life (she said yes).

The Pike day starts really early (around 4:00 is wake up and 4:30 breakfast if I remember correctly). Trevor was in the first group out so he could have more time to make it up the summit. I put him with a really strong (spirit, mind and body) counselor named Charles. So they headed out. I was in the last group to head up to the mountain, which meant we would catch up to the first group near the top.

We finally caught up to them about 30 minutes from summiting. It was 7 or 8 hours into their hike and 5 hours into ours. As I looked up at Trevor's hike group, I noticed something different. Charles was grabbing Trevor's backpack. I was puzzled. Then I saw Trevor stumble and Charles was holding him up. The stumbling and holding continued until the last 30 yards. That is when Trevor saw his mom and sister standing there waiting for him. He broke away from Charles and ran to them. They crumbled together in a beautiful embrace. Happy tears ran down their faces. He had accomplished something that I don't think he even thought he could do.

Not only is this story about the supportive love that happened that week with Trevor but it is about the love that Trevor planted in other peoples heart that week. I love summer camp and Trevor and his growth that week are some of the reasons why. He doesn't know but he gave me more than he truly realizes. That is what makes summer camp so great.

While I love this story, this story happens at summer camps around the country. I witness it every week out here CFA. I watch kids conquer their fears on the leap of faith out at high ropes or just being away from home for the first time. Camp provides that unique opportunity for a child to grow in a place where they are loved unconditionally. When the campers grow, so does the staff.

This past summer our staff impacted many lives and it impacted them. After our closing dinner, we watched the staff video and after that they cried, hugged and were saying goodbye. It was the end and they finally realized the impact they had on kids and how those kids impacted their lives. It seemed like 2 hours before everyone finally got done saying their goodbyes. That is what summer camp is about -- impacting lives with love.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Would Be Strong

The third line of the Ragger's Creed is "I would be strong, for there is much to suffer."

What does this line make you think of or feel? Does it give you a feeling of self doubt or cause you to work harder to succeed?

For me, this is not just physical strength. What this line is referring to is mental strength, having the integrity and confidence to keep trying, to keep working, to dust yourself off and move forward. For this, you need to pay attention, study hard in school, make the most of your education and learn from all kinds of life experience. The line "learn from your mistakes" fits well into this third line of the Ragger's Creed. If you just give up and do not stay strong ton try again, then life is just going to run past you. If you let your life sufferings like failing a test, getting a grade, falling off your bike, not making the A team or losing site of your goals, then you are letting your "sufferings" get the best of you. Stay strong, dig deep into yourself and keep going. Refocus on your goals, reset your self and seek advice from adults.

Remember-Youth Empowerment Retreat (click and look for tan box) is coming up December 10, 2010! Sign up today and take this time to renew your Rag goals at camp. Hey Hey CFA-stay pure, stay true, stay strong and stay CFA.

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer...

In the Spirit of Camp,