This is a children’s book that was introduced to me at charity lunch I attended and once I read it I had the urge to share it with you all.
What do you do with an Idea?
One day, I had an idea. Where did it come from? Why is it here?
I wondered, “What do you do with an idea?”
At first, I didn’t think much of it. It seemed kind of strange and fragile. I didn’t know what to do with it. So I just walked away from it.
I acted like it did not belong to me.
But it followed me.
I worried about what others would think. What would people say about my idea?
I kept it to myself. I hid it away and didn’t talk about it. I tried to act like everything was the same as it was before my idea showed up.
But there was something magical about my idea. I had to admit, I felt better and happier when it was around.
It wanted food. It wanted to play. Actually it wanted a lot of attention.
It grew bigger. And we became friends.
I showed it to other people even though I was afraid of what they would say. I was afraid that if people saw it, they would laugh at it. I was afraid they would think it was silly. And many of them did. They said it was no good. They said it was too weird. They said it was a waste of time and that it would never become anything.
And, at first, I believed them. I actually thought about giving up on my idea. I almost listen to them.
But then I realized, what do they really know? This is MY idea, I thought. No one knows it like I do. And it’s ok if it’s different, and weird, and maybe a little crazy.
I decided to protect it, to care for it. I fed it good food. I worked with it, I played with it. But most of all, I gave it my attention.
My idea grew and grew. And so did my love for it.
I built it a new house, one with an open roof where it look up at the stars- a place where it could be safe to dream.
I liked being with my idea. It made me more alive, like I could do anything. It encouraged me to think big… and then, to think bigger.
It shared its secrets with me. It showed me how to walk on my hands. “Because” it said, “it is good to have the ability to see things differently.”
I couldn’t imagine my life without it.
Then one day something amazing happened. My idea changed right before my very eyes. It spread its wings, took flight and burst into the sky.
I don’t know how to describe it, but it went from being here to being everywhere. It wasn’t just a part of me anymore…it was now a part of everything.
And then, I realized what do you do with an idea?… You change the world.
How many of you have ever had a really good idea? How many of you were afraid to share it? How many of you have ever seen another person’s idea and thought I wish I would have thought of that?
I think in this day and age it is a challenge to find the time or the brain space to think of new creative ideas. During your school year, you probably have a tremendous amount of things on your plate. School work, sports, music, practices, going from one thing to the next and the continuous temptation to be plugged in, to check someone’s status or to think what you want your status to say.
Here at camp one of the wonderful opportunities that you have is to just chill. Quiet the chatter and busyness in your mind. Clear your head when you are hiking the trail and watching your boots take each step, when you are on your horse looking out at nature, when you have the chance to play with a stick in the dirt or in the creek, or at vespers when you have the chance to just sit, so seldom do we just sit and do nothing. Now please when you are mountain biking just focus on that so you don’t fall. What creative ideas are you going to bring to better the community around you? Are you going to be awake and bring solutions or are you going to just go through the motions.
Now of course there are a million ideas that have change the world and I am sure some will come to your mind. It is an anniversary year for Cheley and I am often overwhelmed when I think about the amazing people that have helped to shape and mold this thing we call the Cheley experience.
From what I can gather Frank was largely an idea man. Many of his ideas were carried out and some never were. He raised Cocker Spaniels and they were kept in the current paint shed that is now at the trans barn. The kennel was originally in Lower Ski Hi. When someone was given their Top Hand at BTE or GTE he would also be given a puppy. We are pretty sure that our parents today would not think that was a good idea.
Some of you may know the story of Girls Trails End. As the story goes Frank started the boys camp first and a little girl came up to Frank and said when are you going to start a camp for me too. Great idea. So when GTE was first started it was called the Me Too Camp.
I reached out to some of Cheley alum that are no longer here and asked what ideas they brought to camp. It was super fun and inspiring to get responses.
Angela started the tradition of singing Jigalo at PJ breakfast. Which I imagine was not a song they were singing in the 30’s. Ann mentioned that she introduced the friendship knot and singing “I see the moon” in SR Chip.
This is one of my favorite stories but there was a little girl in Lower Chip that decided that we needed a Swinging W so she drew a picture and that same year Steve built it and now we have a swinging w.
Last summer I was sitting with some girls when someone received her patch and then you all did that thing were you pulled the string. When I asked about it you all said or yes we have been doing this for years it’s a tradition. I had no idea. I don’t know who came up with that or when it exactly started. But it was once someone’s idea, and now no one ever questions it. It is just what we do.
Some of you may have noticed the boxing gloves in Ski Hi. In the 60’s when boys would have conflicts they would put them in the ring and have them box it out. Crazy.
In the late seventies Marc Thompson brought the traditions of singing the Gambler to Haiyaha recognition and singing Netherlands on the top of peaks.
The ball of yarn campfire was started in Haiyaha by Nick in the 90’s and still happens today. As well as the Positive Mental Attitude Campfire in SC by Emily and still happens.
Judson, who is a youtube star for the evolution of dance, had the idea that Ski Hi would renovate the lean-to on the side of Cathedral. Later Nathan had the idea of building up the Village of the Indians behind Ski Hi
Bill Kalbac brought many ideas into camp like the Kalbac jars we use to go out of camp and the Pinecone patch to encourage a more well-rounded camper experience.
Who was here in the days of Cowga? I do not know how this has not swept the nation. But Clay was a Haiyaha counselor that had his own teenage boy version of yoga and they would do it before trash sweep on Sundays. One pose I remember was The Giggling Gorilla.
Barry said he was the one who started the tradition of hiding the painted rock between GTE and BTE. Which had to have been somewhere in the 80’s and they still do it today.
The current staff and campers here now inspire me. I love that swing crew is always thinking of ways to make their job better. Oliver is always problem solving. In fact the idea of having the swing crew came from a staff member about 5 years ago.
So here it is. What ideas, thoughts, and solutions are you going to bring to your community? Are you going to be alive and awake and think of and cultivate ideas? Or are you just going to go through the motions? What do you do with an idea?… You change the world.