Lil’ Kid Camp

By Sarah Meike, Special Projects Coordinator

Attending Lil’ Kid Camp for the first time this year was truly inspirational. My pride to be working for an organization that provides such influential programming to the kids of Visitation Valley soared to great heights at camp. I felt so honored to be amongst Mountain Camp staff, R.O.C.K. staff, volunteers, and children that are making such shifts in our community for good.

When I first thought about going to camp, I was a bit like a first-time participant, nervous. I didn’t know what to pack, what to expect, or which one of my friends was going to be in my cabin. But once we got to Mountain Camp, all of my fears disappeared. The kids were excited, the volunteers were ready to listen and help, and the staff were on top of it. What came together was a magical experience for everyone involved.

One of the volunteers that really stuck out in my mind was Graydon Rose. This was his first time volunteering with R.O.C.K. and yet he approached his position as camp counselor with all the zeal and enthusiasm he approaches any project in his life. When I asked him if he had a favorite camper to mention, he came up with a thought out and meaningful response for almost every child he had in his group. These were not just off hand comments either, they were comments like, “Jacob seemed 10 years wiser than he was. There was a lot of compassion going on in there. He was the glue to the group. He always had others’ thoughts and feelings in mind.” He went on and on about the kids in his group like this for our entire conversation.

We were lucky to have such an attentive and caring volunteer in our midst, but he felt equally grateful to be around such awesome kids. Graydon was an eagle scout growing up, and got a lot of opportunities to play in nature. Seeing some of our participants’ reactions to squirrels or a deer in nature made Graydon feel extremely blessed for the opportunities he had as a child, and made him even more committed to providing those same opportunities to our children. His greatest take away from Lil’ Kid Camp was how easy and fulfilling it was to share just one experience with kids that makes a huge impact in their lives.