What Camp Belknap Taught Me
”I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” -Thomas Edison
The cold dark raindrops fell like beads of silver on our heads, rolling across our foreheads, and finally hitting the earthy mud that we stood on. Twenty-six boys standing, filled with anticipation, waiting to see what all their work would come to. The day prior they had been given one hour to construct a boat out of cardboard, but when they put it into the water to test it, it fell apart immediately. Somehow, there wasn’t sadness but laughter and high hearts, no head hung low that day.
Last week the ninth-grade went to Camp Belknap in New Hampshire. It was a leadership trip to become closer to our ninth-grade buddies, but I think one theme rang true throughout the trip. Dealing with failure, and using your friends to help you get through it, and still have fun. The first time we experienced that at Camp Belknap was during Beejuball, a soccer like sport that everyone loved. It didn’t matter who was winning because everyone had a smile on their face. It was a bonding experience not only between your cabin and your teammates, but also with the tone teams and cabins. Even if my team was losing, I would be rooting for another, because I know my failures are only another’s success. The second time I felt that theme was on the rock wall. Some people were naturally amazing and scurried up the wall, while others could barely make it up the first few rocks. You may think of that as a failure, but then every little success is twice as rewarding and people will cheer you on no matter what. When we built our cardboard boats everyone poured their hearts and souls into it, testing and building to see if it would work. I am a spontaneous motivator, which means that I get attached dot objects that I pour a lot of time into. Though, when our boats touched the water they sank, no one was sad. People laughed and cheered from the waterfront, seeing who could beat who in the race of dragging cardboard. Though some people may look at it as a failure, I look at it as a success.
There’s nothing good about ease, the fun only starts when something goes wrong.