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Inspirational Tuesday: Another Camp Story

August 31, 2010

Like last Tuesday, I’m going to share a memorable story from my unit of 8-9 year old campers at Camp Kesem a few weeks ago.

(Note: I’m not using the campers’ real names)

This is a story of 9 year-old camper  “Jenny.” She came to camp last year and was really excited to come back again this year.

Jenny had tried scaling the rock climbing wall twice last year, but came down about half way up each time. This year, as our unit of campers was heading over to the rock climbing area, she came up to me and kept telling me that she was going to make it to the top this time.

Well, the first time Jenny went up, she got about 3/4ths of the way up the wall before looking down. That’s when the heights and fear set in and she wanted to come down.

Since our group of campers was relatively quick, Jenny got a another shot at the end of our session. She was hesitant and initially didn’t want to, but bravely decided to give it a go.

Off she went, fast up the wall, without much of a flinch. But as Jenny got to that 3/4ths point again, she looked down and became scared again. She really wanted to just give up and be let down. From down below, I could see that she had tears streaming, wobbly legs, and a look of complete terror in her eyes.

But when Jenny looked down again, all she saw was support. All the other same-aged campers and counselors from the unit had stood up, walked to the wall, and was cheering her on.  Jenny may have wanted to give up, but the unit wouldn’t let her.

I don’t remember who let out the first cheer, but it was definitely a camper. Those initial words of encouragement got the whole group going, almost like a rallying call. Everyone started chanting “Jen-ny! Jen-ny! Jen-ny!”

Jenny, still sobbing, turned her head back up and climbed those last rocks. With each step, the roar got louder. It felt like we were all up there with her.

It was amazing when we all saw Jenny reach the top and ring the bell. She came down half-smiling and half-sobbing, and was instantly given many high-fives and “good jobs!”

This was probably the most inspirational moment from my week at camp.

Later in the week, I saw Jenny beaming with the hugest smile, telling other kids that she made it all the way to the top :)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 2, 2010 9:41 pm

    extraordinary!!

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