As I was reading Jeff’s book I began asking myself when I’ve experienced ‘Wrecked’. I came to the conclusion that I hadn’t. At least not in a manner that so many people in the book has. It’s probably counter productive trying to compare yourself to others. But I feel I need to do more.
I recently started my Bucket List, and needless to say, it’s been added to in the last few days. The new additions are based around helping others and generally doing good deeds. However, although I don’t think I’ve been Wrecked before, I have been touched.
I spent 8 summers working at a summer camp in Northern Kentucky/Ohio. I first went for the experience but I kept going back for the people and the essence of what Camp offered.
The money isn’t good. Getting there from England is both expensive and annoying (if you’ve ever been in the American Embassy, you will know what I mean). You literally get lost in police checks and paperwork.
Yet it never mattered. Camp meant something to me. This summer is my first in nine with no visit. It’s heart breaking. I have many stories from Camp, but I feel one in particular stands out.
It was in 2005 (my second summer) and a 15-year-old girl came to camp. I worked with the oldest kids, and this girl, Destiny, was like any other. It’s hard to get to know a teenager in just one week, but Destiny left an impact on every counsellor she touched.
Frankly, she was an incredible young lady.
At my camp, there’s a scholarship scheme. Some kids are given a week at Camp to keep them off the streets. It is, I regret, for some, a form of punishment. Most, however, have to earn their place. They need to write essays, do service work, and do things all year long to earn one week at camp.
I can assure you, a week at camp is worth whatever you have to do. Destiny was one of these young girls who worked hard. She wrote an essay to get there, and I regret to say this, but I never saw her again. I have no idea what came of her, but I like to think she is fine. I like to think she is helping others.
Destiny shared her story with several people. I was one of the lucky few. She told me what camp meant to her. She told me about her upbringing and being moved from home to home. She told me about her young sister and how she wanted to protect her.
She brought me to tears.
Yet she didn’t complain. She didn’t ask why she was given a raw deal. She got on with things and she’s a girl I’ll always remember. She was 15 years of age and more mature than I still am. I feel lucky to have met her. I know other counselors feel the same.
I don’t think it Wrecked me, but it did hit me hard. She made me realise I have it easy. As I read Jeff’s book, I thought of Destiny. I thought about that conversation we had. I realised I wanted more. I will soon be a father and I want my son or daughter to feel proud of me. Helping others, I feel, will help. Making sure my mark on this earth is clean, is now something I NEED to achieve.
Thanks for the read, Jeff. It was an inspiration