Friday, June 26, 2009

49/365 - Swing Life Away

This year marks my 4th summer in a row at Camp Rainbear. This is a 3 day long camp for kids infected with or affected by someone with the HIV/AIDS virus. It's a fun weekend for kids, parents, volunteers, and staff alike and gives everyone a chance to take a break from life and just enjoy the simple pleasures. I had a terrific time as usual and I plan on going back for many years to come. Anyone who knows me knows that this camp is hands down my favorite place to be in the entire world and I can't explain how much I love volunteering there and seeing the kids. Allison and Molly came with me and we got to talking about how much fun the kids really were having. It's sad to know that so many other youth don't know how to truly appreciate life and the little things it has to offer. So many of us expect to just take, take, take and do so by as little effort as possible. Whereas other people live each day as if it could be their last (and for some of these kids and adults at camp, maybe it could be.) I try to make the most out of each day because I never know what tomorrow might bring. I never know if I'll even be blessed with a tomorrow at all. This is exactly the reason why I'm not afraid to tell people I love them, even upon first meeting them. Some people think the phrase is taboo or something but I don't. I say it several times a day and mean it when I do say it. I've learned so much about myself, others, and life in general through my countless volunteer experiences and try to incorporate everything into my life. I always said if I could make a living off of volunteering for the rest of my life, I'd do it without a second thought. There is something about giving unconditionally without expecting anything in return. I like to be pushed outside of my comfort zone. Hell, I don't even think I have much of a comfort zone. It's pretty hard to make me feel uncomfortable and I like diving into new experiences to see how it can make me grow into a better person. Every experience in life is to help us, whether we see it that way or not.To everyone who has crossed paths with me in life, thank you, and I love you.

The Fowler Center - Mayville, MI

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