Nothing great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm. Three weeks before going to camp one of my struggling students started a countdown for camp. Every day he would say “__ days before camp Mrs. Campbell. I’m going to do the zipline.

I’m so excited” He would tell me this about 5 times per day. I always knew how many days it was before camp. Well, yesterday, it was his turn to do the zipline. I will preface this by saying how hard it is to get up that pole to get onto the zipline. I did it several years ago with great difficulty. You have to climb up about 8 feet of pole, over wires and around the pole to get onto the platform, which is 40 feet in the air. Ok, so he begins climbing and he is struggling. I am standing at the bottom giving him encouragement and trying to slowly explain which foot and hand to put where. Not easy when a child doesn’t know his right from his left. He gets up a few steps, freaks out and comes back down. He is then unharnessed and goes to the bottom of the stairs, takes a few deep breaths, stops shaking and I say, “Remember how excited you were? Do you want to try again?” Well, of course he does. I smile at him and tell him I will be there to help again and he goes up again. By this time, many are there to encourage him. Second try, he makes it a little farther, comes back down. By this time several of the camp counselors have encouraged him and so have more of his friends and another one of his teachers. Well, needless to say, his perseverance overcame his fear, and the help of others got him on that zipline. He was so excited and he just screamed with happiness all the way across. There wasn’t a dry eye around that zipline because he is just loved by all. I love camp.

– Note from a Hillsboro teacher with her take on the magic of the Camp Joy experience.