Yesterday was the official last day of our Summer Camp. We had kids, as we always do, who are remarkable and unique, and who all have at least one thing in common… feeling unsafe in the world. It manifests in different ways for each kid, maybe frequent crying, stuttering, hurting themselves, hurting others, being withdrawn, unexpressive, etc. The issues they deal with have occurred for a variety of reasons (abuse, neglect, witnessing violence, ineffective parenting, etc.), but here at the end of camp I look back and can’t help but think, “What is better for a child’s mental health than a summer of fun in a safe environment with stable, caring adults?”
This summer is a drop in the bucket of their lives, but it was the drop that I was responsible for and as far as it depended on me… it was a good drop. It was a fun drop, a safe drop, a drop in which they felt unconditionally cared about.
And I did something I am proud of. Despite a plethora of Medicaid regulations, logistical complications, and paperwork that can seem disconnected from the real work of counseling, I kept my eyes on the prize. The real prize being each kid.