Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the Culver green...

I sent a text to my creative writing teacher this afternoon and asked her to text me a writing prompt. She responded, "Green." My first thought was..... ya thanks buddy. After a few minutes I realized that in fact it wasn't such a bad a prompt at all. 

Green. A sea of green people, or rather a sea of small children wearing green shirts. I watched as a large group of younger children stood in military formation for the practice parade wearing their green shirts with the Culver logo on the left side above the breast. In front of them stood a slender, blond, tall young man. He spoke to them with an authoritative voice, but he exuded kindness. You could see the stern look on his face, but you could feel his dedication. The boys looked at him from their attention stance and listened. It was obvious they respected him.

I felt my eyes welling up with tears as the young man gave instructions to the gaggle of boys. My heart was filling with overwhelming pride. I felt chills racing to edge of my skin. Green symbolized Division 6 at Culver Woodcraft Camp. Green and the number six were very important to each camper and counselor in that division. For me, green is the memory of watching those boys and their leader.

I spoke to many of the counselors that Sunday evening and they all shared with me how motivating the young man was when he worked with them. I had the amazing opportunity to speak to several of the parents of the kids that he worked with and learned that each set of parents had an incredible amount of respect for the young leader. They referred to him as wonderful, amazing, a natural leader, and born to work with kids. A few of the parents explained how the young man had changed their child's life.  The kids, the kids were the true gold medal. Each of the kids spoke about the young man with such kind words and understanding of his passion for them. He had earned their respect, their love and most of all their trust.

I stood and watched the young man as tears were slipping from eyes. Before me I saw  a leader, a grown man, a genuine human who was capable of making a positive difference in peoples lives. I saw a man standing before those boys as they stood at attention, who had such passion, compassion and the ability to truly reach adults and children alike. In that moment, with adoration in their eyes, the boys in green shirts stood before a man that I was seeing as an adult for the first time. Those boys in green were standing and listening to my baby brother. 

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