Back To Your Roots

Sunday, August 6, 2017

I recently went back to work as a counselor for a week at YMCA Camp Hanes. It was hard, exhausting, and the best thing I've done this summer. Hanes is a very special place to me. I called it home for 15 months, working and living there and meeting some of the most incredible people. Camp Hanes played an instrumental role in me becoming a teacher. I started at Hanes in 2014 after working two summers at Camp Galilee in Missouri. I was challenged in so many ways at camp. I learned to embrace the differences of others, I learned I can do hard things, I learned I can truly be myself, and most importantly, I learned I was meant to be a teacher.

I try to go back to Camp Hanes at least once a year to volunteer because it is so important to me to remember what got me to where I am today. If a counselor does their job well, they're one of the hardest workers in any job field. What other job do you have 12+ kids under your supervision 24 hours a day? Being a counselor, age group leader, and outdoor educator taught me skills that gave me a leg up in the teaching realm and I hope I never forget that. My love for camp is so strong and going back to it reminds me that I am where I'm meant to be and that I need to be grateful for the opportunities and people that helped me get there.

Now, let's relate this to you. Whatever you're doing right now... you didn't always do it. Someone or something helped you get there. School, a parent, teacher, previous job, supervisor, etc. I am fortunate enough to be able to go back to the place and people that helped me get to where I am today. You may not have that option, but you can send a thank you or just take some time to reflect. Get back to your roots, smile, and be grateful.

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