Your contribution matters

Written by Michael Miller

What gets you going? What gets you fired up?

For me, it has and probably always will be music. Something strong that almost puts you in a trance helps me get into the groove for my daily training. There’s a reason the Spartans went into battle to the sound of  beating drums, it gets your blood pumping.

But what about the days that you don’t feel like training? We all have those days now and again, so how do we find the motivation to keep moving? For myself, it still comes back to music, but not necessarily something with a strong beat. Its more about the memory or emotion that certain songs have for me, and the strongest memories for me are from Comfort Zone Camp.

What is Comfort Zone Camp(CZC)? Its an incredible program dedicated to children, ages 7-17, who have suffered the loss of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver. Their mission: Comfort Zone empowers children experiencing grief to fully realize their capacity to heal, grow, and lead more fulfilling lives. They give children a place to share their story with others who may be going through something similar.

But what actually happens at camp? Well, for the most part its like a normal summer camp; hiking, swimming, canoeing, archery, and the like. As well as confidence building activities like low ropes courses and team building challenges. But the real magic happens during The Healing Circles. This is the time when campers have a chance to share their story with a small group of peers, some share a lot, some just a name, some not at all. The goal isn’t to “fix” your camper, but to meet them where they are with compassion and empathy.

When asked what qualities make a Big Buddy great, one Little Buddy said, “The best Big Buddy would have two big ears for listening and two arms for hugging.” I mean how great is that!?!I bet you’re wondering how this ties back into music, don’t worry, I’m getting there. On the last day of camp we have a Memorial Service for all of our Littles’ lost loved ones. Now this Memorial Service is not like any you’ve seen before, campers can do whatever they want, act out a favorite memory of their loved one, share a picture, or maybe dance to a song.

Now I want you to picture that in your mind. Imagine a 12 year old standing up in front of a group of 200+ people and dancing to a song that reminds them of their daddy. Can you think of anything more powerful than that? Would you ever be able to hear that song the same way again? Believe me, you will not, I’m listening to one of those songs right now and I can’t sit still.

Everyone needs a spark that ignites them. What is yours?

Comfort Zone Baby, 1, 2, 3!

P.S. This past year, the theme for camp has been “contribute” and  if you are interested in making a profound change in a child’s life, follow the link below to volunteer as a Big Buddy. You can’t imagine the difference it will make in their (and your) life! Grieve. Heal. Grow.

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