Your summer looks amazing from the outside looking in, I miss it way more than you’ll ever know! Fresh air week always comes with a bit of automatic exhaustion and worry even before it begins, but I have a little something special I heard today.
I was working at an African American celebration early today (Friday) and overheard a speech by a young man who originally was from Toronto, specifically the Jane and finch area. He’s 22 years old and just graduated from his university with a political science degree, and was giving a speech to the crowd at the event. He spoke of all of the trouble and prejudice he endured growing up in a poorer community, but talked a lot about how he was able to overcome all of this due to the help of the Toronto police academy, especially with help from Mark Beef Gray.
Then he spoke of something that just blew me away and moved me like crazy. He talked about how he was privileged to be sponsored to go to a little camp in the Muskoka area, WIDJIITIWIN!!!!
He talked about how he witnessed love and respect amongst our staff towards everyone for maybe the first time in his real life. He talked about his cabin leaders, Tatum and Venus, Banks and Lufa, and Sunshine and Rewind (all which he said by name during his speech, to which he got a lot of laughs at the weirdness of the names) and how they leveled with him and created a relationship with him, which he said not a lot of white people or older individuals in general do. He talked about finding himself and finding the Lord for the first time in a way that wasn’t his mother’s religion, and how he wanted to better himself and become a better person.
A lot of what we try to do does not get through to these kids. But for the things that do, they last, and they last big time. I didn’t get to talk to the young man, but it gave me so much joy and a sense of pride knowing that I serve a God who can speak through me and all staff at camp in a way that not only impacts the Campers, but now the people around them once we send them home.
Fresh air week isn’t always fun, it’s rarely easy, but it is so so rewarding and way too beneficial to overlook. Moose, you’re doing an amazing job and have been for quite some time. Your faith in God to continue with this program and grow it into the incredible movement it is today is so inspirational. To your staff this year, please let them know that the tough times this week will be worth it. The shadow only proves the sunshine, and the light on the other side is so sweet and so special.
I miss you all so much. I want nothing more to just be Peter Pan and never have to grow up and do these adult things that keep me away from that place. I hope to see you guys some point before it’s done!
Thank you Moose, for everything you do for the kingdom of God. It will not be overlooked.
P.S. give Notch a big big hug from me!