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Thursday, December 13, 2012

An exceptionally well timed letter

I received this in the mail today from a former camper, staff member and the daughter of a friend of mine.  I've known her since she was 10 years old.  We met at camp, but then I became good friends of her family and so I have known her in and out of camp.

As a camper, she was "Suzy Camper."  She was all about camp.  As a staff member, she was kind, compassionate, and then had one major foul up, in which I had to fire her.  She knew it was inevitable and the whole thing sucked, but she bounced back and has since gone to work there successfully.  She's had a rough time of things as she has entered into adulthood, but she had a good head on her shoulders, and I am eager to see what becomes of her.

Anyway, I got this letter from her today.  She's in job corps, which is kind of part job training, but also for kids who've had some trouble in their lives.  It's a little boot camp-ish, but very good for her.

"Dear Heidi,

My teacher gave us an assignment to write a letter to someone in our lives that we see as a leader.  I thought of you immediately because you were the person who taught me leadership in and out of camp.

In my opinion, you were the best director I saw in my time at camp.  You set the rules, made sure everyone was doing what they were suppose to do and ensured every one's safety, but still managed to be someone we could come to, if we had a problem, someone who could always make me laugh.  From the very first memory I have of you, when you took me to Friendly's for my birthday, I have known that there is someone that cares for me outside of my family.

Whenever I fought with my mom, or needed something she couldn't provide, be it a ride to dance or someone to talk to, you have been there for me.  Mom and I frequently wonder where we would be without you.  You have been so many things in my life, camp director, babysitter, mentor and friend.

Most of all, you are are someone I can look up to, someone who inspires me.  You are one of the best, most wonderful people I have ever met, and seeing you struggling with MS is hard for everyone, but you accept the cards that you were dealt, and you haven't lost your smile.  You are someone I admire more than anyone else, and I am so grateful for everything you have done for me.  I would not be where I am without your support and love.

Love you,"

*Name omitted to protect her identity *

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