How You Make An IMPACT! (PERSONAL)

๐“๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ญ๐ฌ. โค๏ธ

In 2008 I started working at a Boy Scout camp in Wisconsin. For 8 weeks every summer, I worked alongside dozens of other camp counselors to create a fun and memorable summer for Scouts, Leaders, and Parents alike! It was nothing like I had ever experienced before! ๐Ÿ˜„

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐ค ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ ๐ข๐ง ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ– ๐ˆโ€™๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ญ! ๐Ÿ™

It was the week I was assigned to work with a Troop, and I met a young Scout named Evan. At 11 years old, it was his first time attending camp, as well as his first time ever being away from home for an entire week!

Many Scouts typically see their week up at camp as an opportunity to be away from home and to be free from daily responsibilities. But for Evan it was a different story. By the time Day 2 had arrived, he ha become really homesick. ๐Ÿ˜”

I remember seeing him cry outside the camp’s main office. I remember Scouts from his Troop being dismissive of his behavior: โ€œHe always does that! He just cries a lot!โ€ And I remember talking with him. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

Through his sniffles he explained to me how he was afraid of being away from home for so long. In fact, he was more worried about his parents and how they were back at home. He worried if they were truly okay with him being up at camp. ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

I had never experienced a situation like this before with a Scout, let alone anyone. But he was looking to me for support. ๐Ÿ™Œ

I remember putting my arm around him and offering him a new perspective. I asked him to consider his parentโ€™s point of view, that perhaps his parents didn’t actually want him worrying about them. ๐Ÿ‘€

“๐˜‹๐˜ฐ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅโ€™๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ? ๐˜ž๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ซ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ง?” ๐Ÿ™‚

๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฎ๐œ๐ค ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ. ๐Ÿ’ฌ

We had a conversation or two after that, but by Day 4 he had become a lot more comfortable being at camp. I saw him taking merit badges, talking with Scouts from his troop, and enjoying himself in camp activities. ๐Ÿ™‚

I rarely spoke with him the rest of the week. But I was glad the situation with him had ended on a positive note. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐ˆ๐ง ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ก๐ž๐ฅ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ. ๐…๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฃ๐จ๐› ๐ˆ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐œ๐š๐ฆ๐ฉ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐จ๐ซ.

…A few weeks after his troop left camp, I was at the main office when I was notified I had new mail. Typically I was receiving mail that summer from my family in the form of care packages and handwritten letters telling me how they missed me. โค๏ธ

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ๐ง’๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ. ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐„๐ฏ๐š๐ง. ๐Ÿ‘ค

He sent me a handwritten letter thanking me for helping him that week. And along with the letter he enclosed a photo taken of us during a camp activity. ๐Ÿ“ท

I read the letter multiple times, unexpected tears filling me up with gratitude. ๐ˆ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐๐ž. ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ณ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐จ๐ง ๐š๐ง๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ฐ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ž ๐š ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ข๐ญ. ๐Ÿ™Œ

This happened over 10 years ago. Not many people know this story. Not many people know about Evan. And not many people know about the impact they can have on others.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐›๐ž ๐š ๐ฌ๐ฆ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐ง๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ. ๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐›๐ž ๐š ๐ฌ๐ฆ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐š๐œ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐š๐ง ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ซ๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง’๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž. ๐๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ. โค๏ธ

His letter and photo now sit in a scrapbook atop my closet shelf, and I don’t plan on ever getting rid of it. While I worked at camp for another 5 summers, I never saw Evan again.

I don’t where he is or how he’s doing or if he even remembers writing this letter, but what I do know is that this moment left a solid mark on my heart. โค๏ธ

——-

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