Posted On: Thursday, December 1, 2016
On the first day I met you, I had no idea how much you would shape my life. We spent only one week together, but I knew that we had created a lifelong friendship. Time and time again, we would visit each other and spend our company singing by the fire, serving the community, and most importantly, discovering who we were. Your arms of acceptance reach out like branches to support the community you sustain. It is only now, that my time with you is limited, that I wholeheartedly see and appreciate what I’ve learned by your fireside. It is only now that I understand the magnitude of your impact in those around you. So I am taking this time to write an expression of my gratitude to you, the camp that made me into the person I am today.
Dear Cairn Family of Camps,
At first glance you’re pretty simple. Some might say a fixer-upper. A lodge and some cabins make up your physical foundations. A beautiful waterfront gives campers swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. Your generous land offers archery, rock wall, high ropes, and countless camp wide games. These are things common to most camps, a sort of standard if you will. When going to summer camp, a kid expects to have fun outside with their buddies, but this is where you transcend. This is where you inspire children, change lives, and live the extraordinary.
When we live in your community, we learn servanthood and gratitude. Your sense of belonging and home creates a family within your arms. Serving others teaches us that the most valuable things in life are not things at all. This helps us to become more grateful for the simple, natural, and intangible things in a world so caught up with material items.
You teach all you meet that their ideas are valuable. That they are worthy and capable of greatness. And when people believe this, they become a part of something bigger than themselves. They become difference makers. Whether those differences impact a whole community, or just one person, they are thoughtful acts of servanthood that never cease to ripple. This culture of encouragement and support is something that is lacking in the mundane world, the world where everyone is on their own, hungry only for their own success.
I want to thank you for your acceptance that has allowed me to grow and flourish, and for the confidence and self worth that acts as my backbone. Many people, of all ages, don’t know what they are capable of and miss the potential within themselves. Without believing in yourself, how can you possibly expect someone else to? If you believe that you can’t make a difference in the world, you simply won’t.
I was a seven year old camper when I was told I would make a great counsellor.
I was a first year counsellor when I discovered the beauty of serving others, and when I decided to be a difference maker.
It is the small acts of kindness and appreciation that makes your community so unique. As a young girl, being told that I could be great made all the difference. One sentence, one idea. That is all it takes to be a difference maker. That is all it takes to give someone the confidence to go out into the world and make a change. So thank you, Cairn, for being my rock, supporting and loving me when I need it most. Thank you for being my feather, taking me to new heights and showing me that opportunities are endless. You are a place that I hold so dear to my heart, but more importantly you are a feeling, a feeling that need to be spread regardless of season, or location. This feeling enables all ages and abilities to see their worth and put their value to use in our society. For when you are spread, your love, acceptance, and gratitude showers on those in the mundane world, and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.