When I was 12, I went on my first “solo overnight” (where campers choose to spend the night ‘alone’, within close hearing distance to Instructors) at Pine’s Red Wolf Overnight Camp. My goal was to build a shelter and make a fire by friction – a big challenge since I’d never made a fire using only a bow drill kit before. I built my shelter, but I worked at my fire for a long time and still didn’t have one as it began to get dark. I was ready to give up when one of my leaders reminded me that it was okay for my goal to evolve. Holding that inspiration, I carried a coal from a mentor’s fire to start my own and I tended my fire until I fell asleep.
I left that experience filled with pride. Looking back, I’m so grateful for the Pine mentors who encouraged me to aim high, push myself outside of my comfort zone, adapt, and keep going when things got tough. When I believed I had failed, they guided me in a new direction and helped me change my perspective. That overnight taught me that it’s okay for my goals to evolve and that changing expectations doesn’t make me a failure.
I’ve spent many years going to overnight camps with other organizations, but Red Wolf is the only place that has helped me push far enough outside of my comfort zone to learn these types of lessons. Year after year, the Red Wolf community has supported me to learn and grow.