Simple Thoughts

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Earlier this week, those of us at camp attended the American Camp Association Rocky Mountain Region Conference which was held at The Nature Place. We heard two dynamic keynote presentations which were both remarkable in their simplicity.

The first keynote was presented by Dr. Dana Winters of the Fred Rogers Institute. This organization builds on the youth and human development work of “Mr. Rogers”. His television program “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” will be remembered by Prehistorics and most Dark Agers (and may still inspire some of you to come home and put on a sweater and sneakers after work). Dana’s message was that positive relationships have a huge impact on children (and adults) and that meaningful connections can be formed through even brief human interactions.

“Always look for the helpers; you will always find people helping. When you see the helpers, you’ll know there is hope.”

Fred Rogers

The second keynote was presented by Pamela Chambers and Robin Parker of the Beyond Diversity Resource Center and their talk focused on the power of compassion in human relationships. Again, they emphasized that what may seem like small acts of empathy, kindness, and humanity can have powerful impacts on those around us. Compassion creates hope, human connection and a sense of place and humility in an ever-more complex world.

Both children and adults need compassionate communities where they can connect with others; and communities are built when people are present mentally, listen to each other and help those around them. As Fred Rogers said, “Always look for the helpers; you will always find people helping. When you see the helpers, you’ll know there is hope.”

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Communities are built, maintained and strengthened in the small moments: a hug, a smile, laughter, active listening, understanding, support and shared humanity. It is through these small moments, as Mr. Roger’s “helpers,” that we can collectively impact our larger world.

In this season of gratitude, we want to thank you for being an essential member of our camp community. We are grateful beyond words for your friendship, for the many acts of kindness we remember, and for the richness of all the relationships you helped to create.

We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

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Jane Sanborn
About Jane Sanborn

Jane began her career as a counselor at High Trails and has worked with the camps and COEC since graduating from Colorado College with a degree in English and Education. She served as the Director/Program Director of High Trails from 1970-99, and as the Executive Director of COEC for many years. She retired as Executive Director in October 2017, and assumed the role of Director of Development. Jane is also active in the American Camp Association and has served in many leadership roles. Currently, she is the Program Chair for the ACA National Conference and sits on the National Public Policy Committee.