Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Summer Camp Adventure in Asia

When I first got into Camping professionally, never did I realize I would have the opportunity to travel the world.

In 2006, I received an invitation to travel through several countries in Asia to help interview people who wished to work at a Summer Camp in America.  This organization thought it would be a great idea for a Camp Director to screen their candidates to determine if they would succeed in Camp programs.

I spent 3 weeks visiting the countries of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand.  This organization that hosted me is one of the largest non-profits in the world and impacts a great many people throughout the US and the world.  In the United States, there are hundreds of camps for this organization and thousands of community facilities making a difference in the lives of Americans.  Halfway across the world, I was humbled at the work that this organization does in impoverished communities.

In my visit to Thailand, I toured around to visit some of the sites that made a difference in the lives of kids.  One of these places is called Ban Pian-Suk, or in it's English translation, "Happy Homes".  Happy Homes is an orphanage that helps children who have lost their parent to AIDS.  Part school, part refuge, the staff of Happy Homes are there to help kids who would otherwise be on the streets. The face of the kids lit up when they saw me and I found myself surrounded by these awesome happy faces!  I taught them a camp song and everyone shared in the laughter.  Moments later as I walked away, my guide shared with me that many of the kids themselves were HIV Positive and how the organization worked very hard to provide care for these kids.

I thought back to my own home, my job, all of the wonderful people and benefits in my life.  I thought about all the good I believed I had made through Camping and looked into the eyes of these kids and staff and thought:  "I'm not doing enough". I need to do more. I thought about all of the resources that were at my own fingertips and found myself questioning how can I do more.  How can I further my impact.

Happy Homes was one of my last stops before I headed back to the United States.  As I drove away from the orphanage, I sat in the car and promised myself that from that day forward, I would do everything I can to make an impact everyday.  

Life is all around us and it's up to each of us to make an impact. 

This is the life you have.....don't waste it.

 This photo above was taken at Happy Homes with some of the kids and staff in 2006 and still serves as one of the moments that fueled me to make an impact every day.

It isn't an Adventure until you are sitting at a table eating worms!  I kept thinking "french fries" over and over as I crunched my way through a heaping does of fried worms!

1 comment:

  1. Great adventure and a good service to humanity. Thanks for sharing