June 16th, 2011
Run away or face the challenges before you?
Last night I returned to Camp Basic after leaving my team Monday afternoon. I do this every year and I have my reasons. This is all very new to them, and while they showed little fear upon arrival, I knew deep inside they weren’t sure what to expect. So one would think I should hang around and support them, but instead I do the opposite. It’s not that that I don’t care or want to be there; but each student on my team needs to do this on their own. It maybe doesn’t make sense to them at the time, but I hope they get it now. They need to learn on their own at times, face their fears and not have me watching over their shoulder. This was their opportunity to get to know their camper with special needs without me in the way.
I anticipated a mix of reactions tonight at my return and knew they would all be different. Would they be glad to see me back? Were they having fun? Were they mad at me for leaving? Would some be facing those “overwhelming” challenges as I talked about earlier? Either way, I needed to be prepared. Be ready to listen, smile, emphathize, encourage and of course…provide Oreos and Gummie Bears just to be safe. Whatever their mood would be, I couldn’t go wrong bringing them snacks! But I can’t take credit for thinking of this on my own. They actually requested it the night before via text. But hey, at least I followed through!
Overall they are all doing quite well. I’m very proud of each and every one of them and did my best to listen intently to each of their stories. How could I not laugh with them and take notice of how much they’ve changed already in just a few short days? My heart also went out to one who undeniably is facing a challenge greater than she was prepared for. It will not be more than she can handle, but I know it breaks her heart and tests her emotions. So I encouraged her and promised to pray for extra patience and endurance for her today.
As was said the other day here, it is difficult to describe in words what happens at this camp. However, I do know that each and every member of my team will leave in a few days with confidence and yet humility, ready to face what’s before them and not run from it. They have seen child-like faith and been tested in their own. Yet I know they are praying more faithfully, trusting more confidently and relying more on their Savior. I am very proud of my SME team!
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