"Two paths diverged in a yellow wood and I...
I took the one less traveled by.
And that has made all the difference."
... a quote given to Tom by Emily and Mark ... still pinned up on our fridge ... still trying to live by these words...
Family & Friends, Happy Holiday Season!
Last year was my first endeavor with this wonderful fundraising page and I am happy to report that you all helped raise $800.00 for Camp Starfish. Without sounding like a used car salesman, I am asking you again, this holiday season to consider donating to an organization that has given to me in countless ways over the past six years.
Tom had an eventful session, full of summer activities, but also marked with some therapeutic breakthroughs and advice and guidance as he prepared to navigate into the public school system and 9th grade. It wasn't a "behaviorally pretty" session, but the staff at Starfish supported him in every way and gave to him some life lessons that I hope will stay with him beyond the ride home. The Robert Frost quote nicely sums up the work that the counselors do with these behaviorally challenged kids. They work with them everyday, every moment for the entire session on making the kids understand choices and the benefits of making good ones.
Tom is telling me that he is too old for camp and that this year was his last. It makes me very sad. Yet, behold, just when I think he will not return to camp next year, the new brochure came in the mail today and it highlighted a whole new menu of sessions and programs. This year they are offering an Older Camper option and an Adventure/ Trek option, catering to kids like Tom who are "too big for their boots", yet still need the "buff up" of Camp Starfish's wholesomeness. It's like they were reading my mind!
Seeing these new options, I am hoping to send Tom again this year, but if it doesn't work out, it is not the end of my relationship or love for Camp Starfish. They will always be my "charity of choice". They have given to me in countless ways over the years. It has also been great to see them grow into a thriving organization that supports a year-round staff, owns their own property and grows their programs every year.
Funny enough, at the end of this summer the Preytis family rented a lakehouse for two weeks. I found this little gem on craigslist for a song. I had loved the lake that Camp Starfish was on and was looking in the same area. When we arrived on move-in day we realized that the house was actually one house property away from Camp Starfish! So, we were lucky enough to spend two weeks right on the same lake. Being so close to Starfish, it gave me a better understanding of the peaceful lake, the beautiful scenery and the therapeutic experience these kids are exposed to and how thankful I am for all the things that Camp Starfish has given to us.
Thank you for reading and your consideration. Happy holidays and a healthy new year!