Mind over matter is a limitless and powerful tool!

Lacey - belleville, Michigan
Entered on April 18, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: humanism, work
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Mind over matter is a limitless and powerful tool!

Mind over matter is an extremely powerful tool! I have worked at Bay Cliff Health Camp in Michigan’s U.P. for two summers with kids with varied challenges. My first year when I was 16, I walked into camp with the privilege of having played on 35 different sports teams. I thought I fully appreciated the mental and physical challenges and accomplishments that I faced on these teams while enjoying priceless friendships with my teammates. It was a life changing experience to meet the 150 campers that taught me a much deeper appreciation of the “average” things in life.

It took all of my mind over matter to make it through the 1st day because I could actually feel the childrens’ complex feelings. They have learned to face hurdles in their daily life which caused them to succeed more than any success I have had. As I quickly learned, they had more mind over matter then words can explain.

Walking for the first time, using prosthetic limbs, learning sign language, and speaking for the first time through a dynavox voice computer are outstanding examples of mind over matter as a limitless tool. These students ages are 3-17 years old and their comradery formed year after year at this camp is greater than any relationships that are seen even in the major leagues.

On the Fourth of July, the fireworks go off at the edge of the lake. The staff wanted the kids to experience the fireworks but the camp is on a cliff surrounded by trees. The staff put their minds over matter and devised a plan to bring all 150 campers to the beach. Trenches were dug in the sand and the paraplegic children were carried in blankets by four staff members at a time and placed into a trench that looked like a sand recliner. The childrens’ eyes lit up brighter than the fireworks! The children showed that their challenges didn’t mind or matter, but it was their strong sense of trying and doing everyday that makes the difference in our human spirits.

Matters of the mind are valuable, and quality of each life absolutely does matter. I hold these kids as heroes on my daily journeys because they have overcome great obstacles and they continue to accomplish what many of us would think to be impossible.

Families drive from all over the U.S. to pick up their children that they have entrusted to myself and others. I watch parents run to their child’s wheelchair for the longest hugs. The parents and families have endless courage each day as they look into their campers’ eyes with hope as they put theirs minds over all those complicated matters. I will undoubtedly, be a more hopeful parent and person due to the examples that have been set by the families, children and staff.

I will always remember witnessing the experiences that mind over matter is a limitless and powerful tool!