All over the world right now people are looking back at the year and reflecting on big moments, happy memories, sad memories, thinking about how things have changed, or how they have stayed the same. We look to media outlets to sum up the big news events, or Facebook to remind us about special occasions. The new year for me brings waves of gratitude as well as waves of anxiety. Wow, another year gone by, and did I make the most of it, or should I have focused my energy differently? Was I involved in the things that matter to me the most? Did I make a difference?
The Women's March
One big moment for me this year was attending the Women’s March on Washington. I remember feeling overwhelmed with the volume of people who made the trip to stand up against injustice, inequality and oppression. It was moving to see all different kinds of faces, and people who could be united under those values. I know that politics has been more divisive in the past year than in anyone’s recent memory. I also know that collectively WE are done hearing about it. However, as a result of the political climate, I think that I have grown closer to those that share a common ground and hold common views. I’m trying like most folks to focus my energy on listening to those that have radically different views than mine. I also know I could have done a lot more of this.
The Last Night of Camp
Another big moment for me this past year was the very last night of camp with campers. This moment snuck up on me. The first 3 weeks of camp were a blur, with an outbreak of the stomach bug, having to hire some last minute staff and a host of other unforeseen hiccups. I spent too much time worrying and not enough time enjoying what makes camp meaningful for me. Therefore, on the very last night of camp I could not get enough of the late night campfires, the staff, the karaoke in the bath house, the view of the lake and the chaos of the walkie talkies. I walked from village to village jumping in on games of ghost in the graveyard, or joining in on 13 year old girls discussing dreams and aspirations while huddled with pillows and blankets on the floor of a cabin. I am holding on to those moments and looking forward to building new ones with new friends and old this coming summer.
Because of Camp
Because of camp I have my best friends, people who inspire me to dream bigger and reach further. Because of camp I have connected with families and staff who I would have never encountered. This is what camp means to me. A chance to build community with people outside of our neighborhoods and schools. A chance for kids to mingle with other kids older and younger than them and hopefully come away with new perspective and new supportive connections.
I hope that as you look back on the year you have feelings of peace. I hope that you know that by being a part of the Stomping ground family you ARE making a difference in kids lives each summer. Whether you are a staff, the parent of a staff, a camper, a camper family member, or a donor, you help make it happen. Thank you for reposting our stuff on Facebook, or liking our photos on Instagram. Thank you for donating your time, money, and old supplies, and for encouraging your kids come and work on our staff team, or sending your kids to our program. We are a community of people building a better world together.
If you, your family, your kids, or loved ones have a special memory from Stomping Ground this summer, please consider donating or asking others to Stomping Ground to ensure that more kids, staff and families will have memories to treasure for the coming year. We feel blessed to have such a supportive camp family. Let’s grow this thing, and make it bigger and better together.