I will never forget any part of the summer of 2017 at Kawaga. It was the best summer of my life so far. Every moment I understood more of what it means to be a Kawaga brave. I learned and reinforced to my campers to be fast to forgive and slow to condemn. Not to sweat the small stuff. To be proud, unbending, humble, and gentle. Always.
One of my most memorable experiences was a story that Raging Falcon, Ty Simpson, told at the second big powwow. This was the message: The best time is always now. The most important people are always those by your side. The most important thing to do is good to those by your side. I found that if I follow this everything else falls into place. If you have no problems with those by your side, then you have no problems. And if you do, you can quickly fix them with this wisdom.
As a staff person at Kawaga, you do more good in one day than anywhere else. Here’s a sample day for just one staff person. Wake up to a positive PA announcement. Cheer at breakfast. Help a cabin full of campers work together on cleanliness. Help campers achieve there skiing goals. Teach campers how to play 4 different instruments. Guide a yoga and meditation class. Cheer at lunch. Help campers learn the ideal. Ref or coach a leagues game. Help a camper achieve a free throw contract. Cheer at dinner. Run an evening program. Reflect on the day and summer goals with campers before bed.
The reason Kawaga braves keep coming back is to help young leaders grow into mentors. As Ty always says, the lifeblood of kawaga is the staff. It wouldn’t be possible without Ty’s leadership. His calm, confident and positive demeanor spread through the staff quickly and everyone noticed it. The future of this camp is very bright and promising. Thank you for being you Kawaga.