My wife and I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week as camp counselors to kids aged 15-18 at Higher Ground Summer Camp in the gorgeous BlueRidge Mountains, just a few miles from Asheville, NC. The camp is a non-denominational Christian Camp that takes 136 kids from all socio-economic statuses and backgrounds (inner city to the farms), takes them out of their natural day to day elements and comforts of life (no technology, no phones, no internet, no social media websites, no texting) and helps them begin laying the foundations to make better life choices and to start developing social and leadership skills.
Through activities like water-polo, paintball, climbing walls, archery, riflery, high ropes courses, low ropes and team building courses, arts and crafts along with a bunch of different sports they learn goal setting skills; the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship along with understanding how important it is to ‘play their positions’, accomplish their tasks and build trust and meaningful friendships.
How do you know when you’ve got the formula for an incredible week of fun, learning and building lifetime memories? Just 4 days after camp finished, next years camp has less than 10 spots available….that’s how badly kids want to get into and return to the Higher Ground Camp experience.
Lessons I learned for the week:
– Camp is not for ‘old’ fat men…….(I’ll be working on the weight thing for next year) 🙂
– 9 year olds can run circles around me in Capture the Flag
– Hitting me in Paint Ball wars, is like ‘throwing a bucket of wheat at a barn door’
– While it’s fun to ‘shake and bake’ in capture the flag – stay on your feet……..cause a broken rib or severely bruised ribs (whichever I have)….hurt like hell
– It’s amazing how much a person will open up and share their life with you at 2am in the morning when they know you care
– 1 week of intense fun and learning can make a HUGE difference in the life a teenager
It’s a week of magic and I can’t wait for 2012!!
As a sign of our appreciation and support of Mike & Carla’s generosity, Corporate Visions has awarded Mike two paid volunteer days for the time spent with the kids at Higher Ground Summer Camp.