We have come to the close of the healing camp. Today we packed up our belongings from the hotel to explore another new route on the way to the campground. Breakfast has begun by the time we get there and a few families have already headed home. A somber meal and somber children that were beyond tired from all they experienced. We worked with the kids for some final projects and talked with them about what they enjoyed about camp and things they felt or thought about while here. Cleaning up the campgrounds, getting everyone prepared for the closing ceremony by distributing the memory books the kids made throughout the camp, finding the owners to match the lost puppies from the belly breathing exercise, and reminding the children of the importance of being frogs.
We preceded to the upper grounds for the closing ceremony. For the final time of this trip, we got into our circle, lined up by age, and shared one word each that would sum up what camp meant to us. Several prayers were said and many thanks were given.
Our Global Partners team had asked all the kids to sign Thank You cards for Ethleen, Saige, Bev, and Fern to thank them for all the hard work they do in making this camp happen and presented the cards at that time. One final, thoughtful, meal was prepared before the families headed off to their last activity and our team from Global Partners headed to Pine Ridge for the evening. I don’t believe a single one of us has left the camp without hoping to come back again.
The work at this camp cannot be expressed in just a few words and none of us may really know the impact it has had until quite a while down the road. We hope to see the families again, but is hard to think that some of the families we may not, as life has a way of changing and taking us all on unexpected journeys. But, just maybe, we’ll see each other again at a diner just down the road when we least expect it!
– Karla Dunlap