People of purpose

7 Jun

This past week I had the amazing opportunity to go to a great place called The Painted Turtle (TPT). TPT is a camp for children with chronic illnesses designed to make the kids forget about their medical conditions and to enjoy themselves and to just be kids.The Camp is situated in California and is part of the SeriousFun Children’s Network Camps founded by Paul Newman. Unfortunately, due the wildfires in California, TPT had to cancel all summer sessions.

This past week I had the fortune to spend a couple of days with half of the summer staff and the full-time staff. We spent five days together and day and night we played, we laughed, we cried, we learned from each other and we hoped for the best. During times of uncertainty people’s true colors tend to surface and an atmosphere of desperation, pessimism and frustration usually predominates. However, in this case everyone’s reaction to uncertainty was quite the opposite. Everyone was sympathetic, hopeful, cheerful, understanding and a positive vibe predominated the whole time. The sense of family and community among the staff (many had just met a couple of days ago) was something unknown to me. These folks in their twenties come from different paths in life and even from different countries. It’s a very diverse group of enormously talented people. Their sense of purpose is truly inspiring and the passion and dedication they put into working towards achieving that purpose is just incredible.This is not your average college or post-college young adult. Don’t let their age fool you. Some of them may be young, but they will surprise you by their maturity, discipline, commitment and how well-versed they are.

The series of events over the past days and the wonderful people that I’ve met have been very inspiring to me. It’s been like one of those moments/events/situations that restores your fate in humanity. I now understand why so many people call TPT a “magical place”. Camp is the people and it will go wherever its people are.

I’m confident that next summer TPT will come back stronger than ever as it will also be commemorating its 10 year anniversary! Please visit its website for more information regarding Camp or to show support through this hard times.

One Response to “People of purpose”

  1. Devin June 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    I LOVE this. This sounds a bit like a camp I worked at a while back called UniCamp, which takes underserved youth from the Los Angeles area up to camp for the summer, and has the same intention – letting kids be kids. I think what you’re involved with is an inspiration for people who may doubt their involvement in promoting education worldwide – children deserve the chance to be children, to be curious and ridiculous and to explore themselves and the world around them. And of course, this experience sounds wonderful and quite necessary for those involved in running these camps. The laughing, the crying, the getting to know each other on a deeper level, is all essential in collaborating towards the goals of an organizations, a fact that I think many NGOs ignore.

    Sounds like a great time, sorry I missed you out here, and good luck with the position! Keep us posted!

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