Camping and Community
"There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!"
Just a few days a go, our entire THA community went on quite an adventure! Surrounded by the beautiful Ray Roberts Lake and immersed in nature, we listened to amazing stories told by our Spark Warriors, Zoology TED Talks by our Elementary Warriors, topped off with psychology research study presentations by our Middle and Launchpad Warriors. The night ended with delicious burgers grilled by our gracious parents for the 150+ of us who were there. After dinner, we gathered around a campfire and listened to stories created by our Warriors. When it was time for bed, we put on our layers and cozied up in our tents for the night.
As I drove around the campsites that night, I saw Warriors walking around exploring, enjoying the woods, and the outdoors, others building a fire together, and others asleep in their tents after an exhausting day. I also came across a group of parents and Warriors sitting around a fire, laughing, singing songs, and just bonding together. It was awesome.
In the morning, after we packed our tents and ate breakfast, we gathered back at the pavilion for a fun, zoology quest-related, morning activity led by our ES Warriors (see pictures below).
There is something about nature that seems to bring out the best in us. As we take out precious time to spend with our families and give thanks during Thanksgiving, I'm grateful that our THA community is a group of families willing to get out of their comfort zone and embark on an adventure. We were absolutely on a mini "Hero's Journey" like adventure, getting out of status quo and diving deep into an unordinary world. For so many of our families this was their first time camping and we all slept in below 40 degree weather. Some families had a child sick at home, a newborn at home, a child with a broken foot, but even if they didn't spend the night, they still managed to come out even for a few hours to be with us. One dad had to drive home in the middle of the night and still managed to drive back in the morning to be a part of the ES activity and closing group. A couple of moms, whose husbands had to stay home to tend to family, were first time campers and made it through the night out of the sheer love for their children. Yet not a single person complained about anything (at least to me).
Several parents said they slept really well despite the cold and sleeping in a tent in the woods. Of course, there were others who didn't sleep too well. One parent shared that she kept waking up every couple of hours and checking the time, but despite not sleeping well she felt very fresh in the morning. We were all rejuvenated by Mother Nature and reminded that it really is the simple things in life that bring us joy: the water, the trees, the stars, family, friends, a community of amazing people with shared values... Regardless of being away from the comfort of our homes, these are the things that help us connect to a deeper feeling of joy and inner peace.
Just yesterday, a THA parent shared with me that her Warriors slept in a tent in their yard last night. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for a community willing to embrace the uncomfortable in order to plant seeds of resilience, courage, adventure, a love of nature, togetherness, etc. in our Warriors. Thank you THA Community! Here's to more adventures and more memories to come!
(For THA Parents - For more pictures, check out the google photos link in the email!)