It is truly amazing how fast the past year has gone. It seems like only yesterday that we were putting the plans together for this year’s team of campers. From the planning stages to the pouring over of applications, to interviewing potential campers, all the way to the first day of camp, the Arrow-Heart team worked diligently to facilitate and foster positive changes in the young adults we had the privilege to work with.
Our first adventure began on a ropes course, which was the catalyst for learning the 6 C’s of Leadership; Character, Commitment, Communication, Critical Thinking, Credibility and Compassion. The campers and the coaches had an opportunity to experience all six at one moment or another during the outing. It truly set the stage for productive and positive adventures for the remainder of the camping season.
Throughout the year, we went through many adventures together as a team. From high ropes courses to raft-building and rowing to rock-wall climbing to simulated mountain rescue missions and even a little ghost-hunting; Arrow-Heart campers were continually challenged to push themselves to their physical and mental limits. We then gave our campers the opportunity to help others through community service. They performed tasks from community clean-up to repainting signs for the recycling center to acting as elves during Christmas time for underprivileged kids.
During our time together, we all learned a lot about our team and ourselves. We each found areas in our lives that were keeping us from reaching our true potential as life-long learners and self-leaders. The campers learned that, although they came from different backgrounds, experiences and family structures, they all shared common issues and together, they could help one another along with the guidance and mentoring of our coaching staff. Over time, the campers began to trust in one another and their coaches. Ultimately, the foundation of a family atmosphere was forged.
As coaches, we strengthened our conviction that you can never have enough patience and you can never offer enough encouragement and support. We also continued to verify the belief that as long as a person is trying, they are succeeding. Whether it is climbing to a higher rung on a ropes ladder than they previously could due to their fear of heights, or getting in a pool with their team, even though they are not strong swimmers, our campers took steps to overcome their fears which, ultimately, aided them in their continued character growth.
As with any family there were ups and downs during the course of the year. Not every camper was fully ready to embrace the changes they needed to make in order for them to reach new levels of personal success. There were times where one may have regressed, but their team rallied to pick them up and help them through the difficulties life was presenting. They also discovered that a person can never run from the problems which have plagued them, or the choices they have made. They learned that they all possess the mental and physical fortitude to overcome many of the obstacles they face. They also knew they have mentors who are there for them when times are difficult. Whether by meeting, a phone call, texting or social media, Arrow-Heart campers have constant access to their coaches and we welcome them using this resource.
Arrow-Heart Adventure Camps sets out every year to provide an avenue of growth and success for the individuals who participate in our camps. By using data such as scholastic improvement, dramatically lower incidents in school discipline entries and improved attendance data; along with positive reports for campers who have been involved with juvenile probation; the results show it has been a successful year for AHAC and I am extremely proud of our kids, our coaches and our volunteers. They all worked hard to make 2013-2014 a special year. I look forward to the 2014-2015 Arrow-Heart Adventure Camps campaign beginning in September.
The Adventures Continue!