Ability weekend in Cupertino was a blast!
Spending the weekend working on the garden area of the camp, seeing our work come together piece by piece was so gratifying. All the brothers put in a lot of hard work and I could see that this is what I mean when I say brotherhood. These guys coming together to do something together for others in need and who will benefit from it.
Beyond the construction work though, I believe the friendship visit really was the defining part of the whole weekend. Previous GAP/Ability weekends have been without friendship visits and the only ones I have been a part of were on the Journey of Hope. The dynamic is a bit different from JoH and these weekend events. In such a short amount time we have to come together as brothers, and become humbled by our experience with the people we are visiting. The level of nervousness for me was two-fold in this respect especially since dance events require a lot of stepping outside your comfort zone. To add another layer to being hesitant, the dance was also a costume party. We were allowed to raid the camp costume storage and we all got into wearing some fun costumes. I chose a full Scooby Doo costume…it might have been a little snug, but it was worth it as a few campers loved it. Despite the hesitation of the dance and silly costumes, I saw a lot of my brothers taking the chance and just having a fun time. It was heart warming to see this and it really made my weekend.
I had the chance to connect with one of the campers, whom just happened to love Scooby Doo. She was so excited to see my costume and didn’t want to be around anyone else for the night. Even after the dance I had spent time with her and one of the counselors hanging out. It was a connection that made my weekend and coming to an Ability Experience event so worth it.
Brothers digging up the ground for the path.
Small shot of completed path project.
Carrying some wood for the plater boxes.
Finished product of cleared out garden, new planter boxes and fresh dirt for planting.
Groupshot of us on the last day before breakfast.
I definitely enjoyed being a part of the event and I can’t wait to attend more of them in the coming months.
I have been really behind in updating this blog, but here is the final video of the entire trip. It was filmed and edited by our crew Chief Sloan Dickey. He did such a great job in documenting our trip overall and this video really showcases that. There is a video for each day of our trip located at www.sloandickey.com/trans2013/
Today was the second of three visits with Arrowhead west. Today I realize I broke through another level of my comfort zone…singing karaoke.
Before getting into the comfort zone thing I just have to explain that today was definitely a good day. We are back in the “groove” as I have been saying since we passed the half way point of our trip. Despite the everyday challenges (route changes, heat, lack of time, etc) everything is going great.
Beyond that the friendship visits is where it all matters and it is really where the trip counts the most for me. Today we spent time with clients from the Arrowhead West organization at the Teen Center in Pratt. Once again a warm welcoming as our team walked across the way from the vans to the center. Cheering, clapping and many introductions with hand shaking was so invigorating especially after the long hot day on the road.
Our team headed into the center with everyone and had lunch while mingling and chatting with everyone. The center had a lot different activities like basket ball hoops, board games, pool, air hockey and best of all karaoke.
There wasn’t much structure, but the team really just jumped right in to whatever interested them as well as the clients. I found myself at a karaoke activity somehow and at first I was pretty shy, but after a few songs it was just another good time with no worries.
Honestly, I am not much for karaoke because I get shy pretty easily, but this instance I wasn’t too concerned and really enjoyed it. I would have to say with inspiration of my team mates doing it along with clients really helped me just go for it and not worry about how I sounded. It was awesome break through of comfort level for me.
I can’t count how many songs we went through but it was such a blast and I could tell that those who joined us were just having a great time.
As usual our time was up and we all settled in for a big group picture said our goodbyes and headed out. 2 hours never seem enough and we always have to move on, but so many great memories and experiences occur…can’t wait for the next visit 🙂
One of the last nights in Charlotte with the LoCos. Love these guys and I’m sad to leave them. Such great time! Thanks for the memories guys! #charlotte #nc #pushamerica #brotherhood http://bit.ly/1bBhIi8
Great day, so many great friends, great memories! We did it!! #joh2013 #washingtonDC #DC http://bit.ly/1blECd8
Made it to Washington DC! So many tears and happiness ?☺?#joh2013 http://bit.ly/16Ck6Sw