I finally got my GoPro video put together yesterday from Jessie’s NYC Kids Camp. Jessie is in year 11 of running the camp for kids from NYC who have special challenges in their lives due to situations, parents, lack of parents, or their own doing that keep them from being able to live at home safely. Each of these kids are amazing people in their own ways, and each of them can either become a positive force in the world, or go the other way. Jessie is somebody who believes she can change the world, one life at a time, and has proven that theory over and over again. Kayaking is just a fun thing to do, right? How can it make a difference?
Here is the short list of why kayaking is special, for them, and for everyone who does it.
1. Kayaking forces us out of our comfort zone from the beginning, but the fun factor keeps us trying more and more. This is how people achieve great things in their lives. Nobody ever stayed in their comfort zone and achieved anything worth noting, ever. These kids make their comfort zones clear and it requires coaxing on our part to get them to push beyond it. Having somebody suggest that they should, give them the confidence that if they do, good things will happen, and then seeing it in action for themselves is the key to opening up their minds beyond what those around them are used to doing.
2. Learning kayaking requires both personal effort, but a team effort is required to make the day work, and be safe. The kids learn to work as a team, take direction, explore on their own, but know that they are the captain of their own ship.
3. Kayaking introduces you to nature. If you spend any time in NYC, you see a world of concrete. If you were born there and have never left NYC, you really are challenged in understanding nature, or respecting it, making it hard to be a steward of nature. Kayaking in whitewater puts the kids in an environment that they have never seen and they seem to love that environment. They now know what is out there, at least in CT. The confidence to try some place new… “I am scared to go to Connecticut” was the first thing I heard when we told them they were going there.
Here is the GoPro Video I made from my Hero 3+….