2020: Here's to a Consistently Visionary New Year

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New beginnings and transitions are like the moment you find yourself in the woods, hunched over a pile of pine needles, grasses and tiny sticks preparing to light a match.

How you feel about that moment may depend on the weather…is all of the tinder and kindling wet? Is it really cold? Is it a beautiful evening and you are going to roast marshmallows? Do you need this fire to dry out your underwear?

It may depend on your confidence in your fire structure foundation…do you have tons of fire building materials near at hand? (Great job gathering, campers!) Have you found success with tipis or log cabins or a unique variation on both? Do you consider yourself a novice Hephaestus, a mostly human god of fire?

Yet the biggest consideration you are weighing as you are squatting with that slightly mashed box of matches is…how many matches do I have?

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If you have a whole box of Strike Anywheres…you have the Confidence of the Sun (see Hephaestus reference above)…if you forgot the matches and you are using one of the six back-up in the first aid kit…you are feeling slightly more apprehensive and, likely, more focused.

If you are using the first aid kit matches, you spent a lot more time building that foundation, considering the weather, and making sure you have enough tinder and kindling at hand. You have systematically prepared for what you might need to do once that match ignites to coax your campfire to life. You have thoughtfully and consistently laid the groundwork for a moment of intensity that could well determine if you eat cold pita pizzas or if you come through the experience learning the valuable lesson that–even when things are hard and complicated–you can succeed.

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We hope you can take a moment with your friends, family and self today and reflect on all of the hard, complicated and amazing things you accomplished in 2019, while also recognizing that many of those successes came out of the consistent effort and work you committed to the people, organizations and systems you believed in. In order to achieve many of these goals, you had to be a creator, not just a consumer.

And we are all consumers in some way. We are living in a landscape of instant gratification: I can not only find anything I need at almost any moment, our technology is regularly feeding us the information its creators THINK we need. Yet we find the most value in the moments we have created over time through consistent effort, even though we seem to be (and tech companies are counting on the fact we are) most enamored by and want the Next Big (Intense) Thing..

Simon Sinek and RSA shorts have a wonderful, fun and profound video that helps remind us that when we do the little things, consistently, we will have more success personally and professionally and feel more connected to the people around us.

All of this is very apt on the first day of the new year: the match that lit the fireworks last night only burned for a few seconds, the fireworks only boomed and burned for a few minutes, but the preparations for that moment took weeks and months.

Similarly, the match that lit the campfire sizzles and burns brightly for a moment, but it is in the hours around the campfire eating marshmallows and watching shooting stars with friends that matter. In those hours, as consumers of a carefully constructed experience we created, we understand what is truly important and how we can return to, and celebrate, those moments thoughtfully and consistently, 365 days a year.

We wish you the very best in 2020. Happy New Year!

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Ariella Rogge
About Ariella Rogge

Ariella started her career at Sanborn when she was twelve. After five years of camper and five years of Sanborn staff experience, she continued her work with kids in the high school classroom. Ariella and her family returned to Sanborn in 2001 to take on the Program Director role which she held til 2012. She and Elizabeth Marable became co-directors of High Trails in 2013. She lists mountain golf, Gymkhana, climbing mountains and making Pad Thai in the backcountry as some of her favorite activities at camp. Ariella received a B.A. in English from Colorado College and is a certified secondary English educator,an ACCT Level 2 Ropes Course Technician, an ARC lifeguard, an AHA CPR trainer and WEMT. She lives at camp with her husband, two sons, 8 chickens, 2 salamanders, 2 hermit crabs and 1 cat.