Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Carson Kolberg - The Importance of Camp

Carson Kolberg reminds me of a boy, a delightful, energetic, SMART boy, trapped in a man's body. His enthusiasm is infectious. After he spoke at Ignite Charity I'm sure everyone in the crowd wanted to go to camp... immediately.

PHOTO CREDIT: Carson's LinkedIn profile, http://www.linkedin.com/in/carsonkolberg

Again, the focus of the talk was role models. Are we starting to gain a clearer picture of how important role models are in our society? Carson says we all deserve to have a role model. Young people, especially, NEED to have grounded, stable, vision-minded role models that can SHOW them how to be successful grown-ups. And this is why charities like Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Junior Achievement are so important. They give kids a chance to dream, believe and achieve.

What Carson taught me, having been a kid who didn't go to camp, was how many role models you can find in a camp setting and the long-term beneficial outcomes a young person can gain from going to camp. He spoke of soft skills gained at camp, of learning how to manage conflict, overcome bullying, teamwork, communication skills and finding resolution.

Who knew? I thought camp was all about the fun times spent far away from your parents.

He also spoke of the importance of BEING a role model and how we all DESERVE to be a role model. As an active volunteer, I certainly understand this concept. As much as people think that volunteering or role modelling is about the people we are serving, the volunteer or role model understands this important fact...

More often than not, we GET just as much as we GIVE.

If I didn't do street outreach, I wouldn't know all these amazing warm-hearted souls that are my clients. If I didn't get out and give needles to addicts, I wouldn't know their stories. I wouldn't have understood the WHY of how they got there. I would have instead just sat in my happy little Waterloo home and denounced them for having given their lives over to something so toxic.

You deserve to be a role model, to have people look up to you and believe in you. - Carson Kolberg

Let's all live like we're on Big Brother. Someone is ALWAYS watching. Someone is ALWAYS emulating. Whether you like it or not, you ARE a role model to someone right now. Now it is time to decide what kind of role model you want to be.

*This is part 6 in a series of 15 blogs detailing the amazing projects presented in the world's first ever Ignite Charity: Waterloo. For more info on Ignite Charity visit www.ignitecharity.ca and follow the conversation on twitter @IgniteCharity.

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