Mission Impossible. I remember one of the girls in my cabin dropping bibles, pencils, anything within reach to get my attention. Around two-thirty in the morning I feel a tap.
Quickly jolting up, I see her. She looks sad as she tells me her teddy bear is missing. On to my hands and knees I go using a watch as a light.
Thirty minutes later with sore knees I stand up. My mission unsuccessful I go to tell her. As I do so she holds a cute little teddy bear up and says she found it when she crawled back into bed.
That was the summer of 2006. My life would never be the same. My pastor’s wife told me of an awesome place that I just had to go.
Being an outgoing person I said yes. Faith Ranch in Jewett, Ohio is where I went. The ranch’s program consisted of working with campers for two weeks, having a week off and then working for two more weeks.
My world was turned upside down. I lived five hours away, so naturally my mother, being who she is, talked the camp director into letting me stay the entire summer. That’s when it began.
After a week of training, it was camp time. Children from the ages of six to eighteen showed up weekly to have riding lessons, campfires, singing and so much more. Along with camp there were groups of people from various places coming each week.
Neither of these were in the same place, therefore commuting back and forth was crazy. Two weeks came and went quickly. I am not a normal teenager; when it came time to have my week off I did not. As a matter of fact, I had a grand total of five days off the entire summer, two of which were forced.
That summer I learned a lot. Not only did I learn to work in a fast paced environment, which was very helpful when I started work back home. I learned most of all to cope with my problems and to get help with them.
I am one of those people who let nothing get to me and I believe I can do everything on my own. Needless to say, that summer I could not do everything on my own. Constantly, I was finding it hard to deal with the children when it came to making them listen to me. The worst was when the director put me as the leader of fifteen to seventeen year olds. They were my age and older. The very first night I knew it would be a problem. As we were settling down to sleep the girls kept talking. When I asked them to be quiet they replied no they would never listen to me because I was their age. That week was by far the worst. I only got through it because, with help, I made them listen to me.
I also had to deal with an unstructured schedule. I normally do not need to have a set time to do certain things, but this was different. Constantly running around and trying to do multiple things at one time was extremely difficult. The only time it was not crazy was during morning lessons when all we did was ring class and all the children listened. Even during the night it was crazy with being woke up several times and having to deal with nightmares and missing stuffed animals. With all the chaos of the summer I became used to no schedule and always running around.
I have never learned more in one summer as I did in 2006. Between learning to deal with no structure to being away from home that long. It was rewarding all around and I even went back in 2007, but that’s a whole different story.
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