Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine Issue 02 | June 2016 - Page 21

time I’d ever be away from my family for such a long time. What if I didn’t like camp or the girls didn’t like me?

Luckily, the process of planning and packing shifted these thoughts to more positive ones. I fell in love with lists and have joyfully used them ever since. Lists bring an outer comfort to inner chaos. With each camp item that was purchased or set aside to pack, I started seeing myself at Camp Azalea Trails. I visualized hiking in the mountains, sleeping under the stars, and sitting around a campfire. The fearful thoughts of being without family for so long transformed to fun, and freeing thoughts!

Fear set me up for success: I fearlessly chose to go on a special 5-day hike away from camp. It was a small group, each carrying one third of their weight in food and supplies. Sadly, I returned with all my 25 pounds - seems no one wanted to eat the foods in my backpack. I also returned realizing how self-reliant, self-confident, and powerful I was to voluntarily choose this adventure. I left behind the extra weight caused by my fearful thinking which showed up as doubt and low self-esteem.

Be open to accepting and embracing your fearfulness. Trust that it will transform to fearLESSness in ways you can’t even imagine.

#3 Success Lesson: Fascination is a set-up for new learning adventures.

Girls Scouts celebrate many ceremonies which mark special times in a scout’s life. Some of these include the ceremonies for: Investiture (becoming a Girl Scout); Bridging (moving from

one Girl Scouting level to another); and Re-dedication (commitment to the Girl Scouts’ Promise and Law). Special words, song, and fire, highlight these many ceremonies.

At summer camp there was no greater fascination than with the main campfire; it was intended to build community through connections with each other and Mother Nature. My heart beats a little faster when I thought of campfire time. I could also feel the palpable electricity increasing as my sister campers and I hurried to finish up the dinner chores. Then it was time to rush back to the sleeping campsite to gather a flashlight and sit-upon (a mat made of thick newspaper stuffing, covered in vinyl that you’d stitched up) – while not forgetting the ritual of slathering on bug spray. (Even now, smelling the bug spray OFF! in its orange, metal can immediately transports me back to these happy, anticipatory moments.)

As I navigated the darkening

trail flanked by pine trees to the main campfire - sometimes with and without moonlight - the clarity and volume of voices slowly increased. And then I saw them: dozens of sister campers sitting around a 10’ pillar of the dancing, soaring, wood-snapping campfire! Eventually, the entire camp gathered for the ancient ceremony. I felt we were all equals for this time. We all sat with Mother Earth as a circle of One.

Only the song leader stood while leading us like a secret Forest Choir. Oh! and the singing of campfire songs. I can still recall many lyrics, all lovingly stored in my hard drive of happy memories - even though I can’t recall what I ate for breakfast yesterday.

Research for this article surprised me at how many songs from 52 years ago remain in many a scout’s songbook. Songs like: Make New Friends; Kumbaya; Alive, Awake, Alert; Arky, Arky; I’m a Nut; the Wind Mariah; I Love the Mountains;

"When I was a 10 years young, I joyfully found myself experiencing the magic that is summer camp."