Whining never works. A $200 trip to Home Depot and some hard work will yield a pretty sweet hillside slip-n-slide. I will eat just about anything that is grilled. The first time a new person feels a part of the group is the first time we all share a laugh. I am a different person after I make it through some tears – of joy, of fear, of sorrow and of pride. As an adult, there are jobs out there that do not require getting dressed-up every day – unless you count a pair of Birdwell surf trunks and a pair of Chaco sandals getting dressed-up. Faking a smile helps me relax when I am scared. I can’t MAKE something fun for someone else – the best I can do is have a blast myself and invite others to join in. Kids are braver than their parents, no matter how you slice it – would you do the “Stick Dance” in front of 70 people in exchange for a couple chocolate chip cookies after your next business luncheon? If I simply “decide” playing in the pouring down rain is more fun than playing in the sun, it will be so. If I work hard enough, I won’t hesitate to run my hand into a bag of GORP 30 other kids have swiped from. I can bathe myself no better than the swiftly moving current of the James River.
Scrapes, bruises, bumps, and cuts are tattoos of effort and fun. I have not lived until I’ve had a great big sticky face from slamming a Fluffernutter in my mouth – Google it you old fart. Everything in life is more fun if I am covered in glitter and yelling, most of the time I don’t have glitter but I ALWAYS have my enthusiasm in-tow. I was born with an immune system and I keep it healthy by feeding it – nature. Making friends is not hard, remembering why it is important to continue to make friends is the hard part. Everyone loves to talk about their pets as well as their best injuries. Life is pretty easy these days and having some planned adversity keeps it spicy. If I ever get the urge to poke fun at someone else’s expense, I can scratch that itch by poking fun at myself. One of my favorite things in the world is standing in a 100 degree parking lot, poking my head into the driver’s side window of a car and raving to a parent about how amazing their child is – that makes my day. For the rest of my life my pulse will quicken and my palms will sweat when I hear the word “dodgeball!”
Kids rule because you can look them square in the eye, give a little squeeze on their shoulder and say “follow me, I’ll take care of you” – they will follow you up climbs, through rapids, over jumps, and off cliffs. The worst thing I have ever done was try to be an adult. A well-timed high five brings two people much closer. I am a competitive person and when I learned to lose graciously, it helped me to win graciously too. The most expensive gift, and also the most appreciated gift I could give a child, is time. When I get up before dawn and take in a gorgeous sunrise I’ve learned there’s nothing truly special about what I see - those sunrises have happened every single day of my life and the real trick is putting myself in the right place at the right time to experience it.
Kids come to Passages because of the kayaking, the climbing, the zip-line, the rappelling, the mountain biking and the wilderness survival skills – but they come BACK because of our extraordinary Staff.
Thank you to all of our incredible Campers, all of our trusting Parents and all of our wicked awesome Staff. See you next summer.
Kevin Tobin – Camp Director
Passages Adventure Camp’s mission is to help young people foster lifelong outdoor skills in a fun and challenging environment. Our focus is to help each camper build leadership skills, develop teamwork and improve their confidence and self-esteem.
We are able to do this because we:
- Select extremely competent staff, certified in First Aid and CPR.
- Maintain a camper to counselor ratio of four to one.
- Mentally and physically prepare campers for each activity.
- Provide and maintain top-notch equipment.