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Get What You Need – Come to Camp!

A Message from Mark Cadwallader, Chair of the Singing Waters Montana Board:

Last summer I spend my first full week at Camp Mimanagish.  It wasn’t really planned; the “Getting Gritty” week for middle school age kids needed a last-minute fill-in counselor for the boys.  I said if there was nobody better qualified, I could do it.  Nobody else (qualified or otherwise) was available, so I stepped in.  While I had been to Boy Scout camps as a kid, I’ve never been a counselor before.  I wasn’t sure what I was getting into.  Afterwards, I wasn’t sure what I had done.

A camp of 25 middle schoolers, some of them at-risk, is a handful.  But with the grace of God, and my fellow counselors, we made it through the week.  It wasn’t as bad as I had feared, but it was certainly as challenging as I could handle.  Despite my trepidation, I received a surprising amount of personal growth and sense of achievement from the week.

One of the goals was to instill a sense of gratitude.  I realized that despite my own personal challenges, I had lots to be grateful for.  Being at “Getting Gritty” helped me realize it on unexpected levels.  Cathy Barker taught a “Gratitude” song that stuck with me and helped me during some challenging moments.  Tajali Tolan’s grounding and gratitude exercises helped me recognize that I did have the strength to get through the week and grow.  My co-counselors showed me by their grace that it is possible to feel compassion even when I am frustrated.  The campers helped me process some old memories and feelings and allowed me to have a better understanding of the struggles many young people feel.  And Shanna Nason’s presentation on suicide prevention really spoke to me, both personally and in terms of folks I’ve known.

Camp Mimanagish provides such an opportunity to get not only what you want, but also what you need.  I didn’t know how much I needed that week at Camp until after it was over; I do now.  I’ll be back this summer.  I hope you will join me and the Camp staff for a few days or more, to experience the amazing opportunities that Mimanagish offers – to help you get what you need in your life.