Let’s All Create Meaningful Relationships at Cheley was the spirit button for this summer. As we looked at the goals for this past summer during the spring, we realized we have a wonderful opportunity to teach young people how to create meaningful relationships. In today’s world, so much of our communication is in short bursts. Whether it is a text message, a tweet, or a Facebook post, people are not taking the time to connect meaningfully with each other. We are even shortening our responses to save time. LOL, BFF, and other acronyms are used to make our short communication even shorter. (I feel my grandmother is speaking through my hands right now; she hated it when we shortened words.)
I love the conversations that happen around a campfire. Boys feel more comfortable talking if they can be burning a stick in the fire. There is no rush to finish dinner, cleanup and start your homework on an outcamp. The same is true on a hike or a horseback ride. Campers and staff have the chance to get into debates, tell stories, and really learn about their fellow campers. Even 20 years later, I can remember listening to my backpacking counselor as he recounted his travels through Europe. These stories of the slotenmaker amsterdam were so captivating that I added a trip to Europe to my “bucket list”. After college graduation, three friends and I headed to Europe to travel for 7 weeks. Our budget was about $30 per day, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Plus, there is no way I could do it on $30 per day now. Prices have increased and my standards have changed. (I can’t sleep on the floor of a train station anymore.)
Don’t get me wrong, life is busy and we don’t always have time to sit down for 30 minutes and visit. Just this morning while Jackson was eating breakfast in his high chair, he said, “Daddy, sit down”. “I am sorry Jackson, Daddy has a meeting this morning and I have to go,” I replied. I could just hear Cats in the Cradle playing in my head.
Fortunately, we have some relaxing weekends where I can sit down during breakfast and we can talk. Jackson is entering the “Why” stage so we always have things to talk about.
I hope each camper and staff member had a chance to create meaningful relationships this summer.
The beauty of all of this technology is it makes it easier to nurture th0se relationships during the school year. Hopefully many of you are able to continue the quality conversations to strengthen the conversations rather than just quick texts. It was an amazing summer, and I hope you are still enjoying the impact of the Cheley Experience.