Monday, October 9, 2017
Camp Blue Skies: Why I Serve
I just returned from my second weekend of service at a place called Camp Blue Skies. This camp is for adults with developmental disabilities who can come and have a camp experience as we offer life skills classes as part of the fun. As a program instructor, I teach an activity called “Balance Your Body” which is a exercise based program to help get the campers moving having fun and provide a platform to teach self-care and socialization skills to them. Each time I get to go and serve at this camp I learn more about myself and what it means to really serve others and make a real difference in someone else’s life. Meeting new volunteers who come without their ego or agendas that can sometimes a big part of our daily lives, they just want to serve. As part of the orientation we do team building and get to know you activities to welcome the new volunteers. When I get to tell my story of how I came to serve at Camp Blue Skies I realize what a truly blessed life I have been able to live. Much of the richness I have in my life is because of following my faith journey in service to others. I really believe in order to really experience the power of love and compassion in a person’s life you much first be prepared to give it away to others in service. We can understand this when we have children, as we are prepared to do anything we can for our sons and daughters, and God teaches us what unconditional love really looks like when he gifts us our children. When we can listen long enough to hear God’s teaching about serving the vulnerable ones we then get a glimpse into his vison for what this world could be like if we could serve others rather than ourselves first. When I see the clarity of purpose that these volunteers bring, many of them have been to every camp since 2011, I begin to see what God is trying to teach me. The joy that we see in the campers when they can come to a place that truly accepts them just the way they are is inspiring. The way the volunteers give all of themselves to the campers is just as much a joy to see. As these two groups of people have found each other the community has grown stronger with the bonds that are created and strengthen with time. As I watch the campers progress each year at camp able to do more and more for themselves and just know they are loved brings enormous fulfillment to my life. I come home energized and exhausted at the same time knowing that what I just did with the CBS team really made a huge difference, and the huge love we get back from the campers tells us they very much appreciate it. Instant feedback in the form of hugs, I think I got more hugs this weekend than any weekend of my entire life, they just feel comfortable and safe enough to be themselves and the love and the joy they have just comes out. We have to do side hugs so observe safe interactions with the campers but you just want to give them a big bear hug when they smile at you in thanks. Particularly when I teach my Balance Your Body class it shows me so much about these special people we call “TheWorldsGreatest”. They listen and learn and have amazing memory to come back the next year having prepared for our fitness challenges and improve so much, it just fills me up with a renewed spirit to keep serving this work. The empowerment that happens at this camp gives me hope we can do the right things in our community to fight back against those who live with hate in their hearts. I have been so lucky to have come along this journey and met the founder Dick Sesler and his staff at Camp Blue Skies along with the many volunteers I have worked with over the last seven years. This place has changed the course of my life and has brought great richness and love into my life. The authentic way these special people share themselves with you touches your soul and you are changed forever and then you cannot stay away. This is truly a magical place that has been created with beautiful intention that makes the world a better place to live for many lives. We have begun a new breathing and mindfulness activity at the end of each day and it has brought peace and a quiet mind at the end of a busy day for all the staff, volunteers, and campers. It reminds me that we are so much more capable then we give ourselves credit for. I am so grateful to be able to bring that to the community I serve and see it add value to the people that share it with me. At this place I really get to work on my best self, where my actions demonstrate who I strive to be and strengthen the skills that will allow me to the best servant that my faith inspires me to be. That’s why I serve as it allows me to be my best self more and more all the time. When we see this will to serve in our children we know we have been able show them what it looks like to be a servant leader. I choose to be a servant leader because it is foundational to the person I strive to be and we must be the catalyst for positive change. Come and serve with me, or support the work of Camp Blue Skies. If you come you will never be the same again.
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” Mother Teresa
Polar Smart Coaching Training Tip: Listen to Your Body
Your body will tell you everything you need to know, when to train, when to rest, when to push it, when to dial it back. The trick is listening to the signals your body is sending you, pain, stiffness, soreness, sleep patterns, hunger and many others. Understanding where your body is at any time during in the training plan allows you to adapt your plan to your body conditions. Different pain tells you where to strength train, soreness indicates which muscles are having a hard time keeping up. When was the last time you woke feeling really rested? Pay attention to your body, it matters. Polar provides the technology to listen effectively and track your training load.
Thinner This Year Nutrition Tip: Fruits and Veggies 50% of Your Diet
Replace Dead Food with vegetables and fruit. For some of you, that is going to be a huge change and a challenge to achieve. Think about it this way: One category of food makes you gain weight and is terrible for you; the other makes you thin and is great for you. That ought to be a no-brainer, but it is not. I am neither a vegan nor vegetarian, but if I were going to look at any one dietary component to get the best snapshot of someone’s health, it would be vegetable and fruit intake. Vegetables and fruit are big on volume and nutrient-dense and, in general, also wonderfully light on calories.
See the complete: The Thinner This Year Eating Plan
“If we do not change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.” Chinese proverb
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