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A reminder about the family behind the scenes...

In small business, you can forget there is a family behind the scenes.  If you don’t look for a glimpse of that family, it can easily be missed.  So I’d like to share something from my family to yours in the spirit of reminding everyone we are all in this crazy world together doing the best we can.
 Camp McCumber and the time I spent there affect my life on a daily basis. The songs I sing to my boys at bedtime, principles I live by and some of the best friends a girl could have are just a few of the take-a-ways I have from that annual week-long event.  I attended the Northern California camp, run by the Shasta YMCA, every summer for a week in July for years.  From 8 years old to 14 I ran around as a camper, enjoying the lake, arts and crafts, and flagpole ceremonies without a care in the world.  My CIT (Counselor in Training) years showed me I was horrible at teaching kids archery (thank goodness I don’t have to hunt for food as an adult) but darn good at starting lanyards for campers and friendship bracelets.  I led the Wednesday “long hike” as a counselor and to this day, the end point of the hike peaks at a mountain-top fire lookout with a visitor book logging my annual trek. 
Flash forward 18 years later, I’m married, living three hours out of town and now, bringing my two boys to that same camp for the first time.  I held it together reuniting with one of the counselors who started as a camper with me so many years ago.  I held it together showing my boys around camp and pointing out the dining hall (which they will use) and the showers (which they won’t use) and I held it together when I saw the campfire circle and could practically hear the songs I know my boys will learn…I made it through all that…until I saw the camp nurse – the same nurse who held my hand when I was kicked by a horse and had to be rushed to the hospital (horses are no longer a part of the camp by the way) and whom I ran to when I was a counselor and one of the girls under my care was stung by a bee on her face and had an allergic reaction.  That same camper (who was 8 at the time of the incident so many years ago) is now the camp director (I feel old).  Forgive my tangent, it happens to us old people.
So this same nurse, who I hope my boys DON’T get to know as well as I did, held my hands, hugged me, and studied my face.  “You’ve grown up in so many ways,” she says, “I see it in your eyes.”
That did it.  The flood gates opened.
I had no problems dropping my boys off at the camp – their week-long adventure will be fabulous.  I know that.  Their counselors will take amazing care of them, they will meet new people, do new things, and come back wishing it were a longer event.  They have spent nights away from home before, and I have no concern for their safety.  In other words, my tears were not for them – not for sadness of leaving them or for how much I will absolutely miss them during this week.  My tears were for me. 
My tears were because this magical place was where so many of the parts of “grown up me” started.  My confidence, my independence, my sense of self.  It made me think of the decisions I have made over my life - of career, love and family choices, and how much of those decisions really did stem back to childhood experiences like Camp McCumber. And now I have the ability to give that same gift to my kids.  To send them to a place where they can have the opportunity to learn so much about themselves and let it shape their future lives.  It made me feel like I was doing something right – really right. 
Very few times in life do you feel 110% behind a decision you make.  As a small business owner, I question myself daily (hourly??) and every move comes with a “what if” attached.  But not today.  It was a hurricane of fresh air for me.  And I loved it.   The best thing was the clarity that in my life, I am right where I should be: raising kids to the best of my ability, working hard, and enjoying every minute.

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