At the end of each course at SOAR, we get out our hammer and nails and begin adding new plaques to our SOAR totem pole. So much more than a plaque, these names are of campers who have been on their journey to success with SOAR for 5 years. For 5 years, they have embarked on new adventures, tested their strength, watched themselves and others grow, and developed life long friendships.
I got a chance to speak with Alex who completed his fifth year at SOAR on the Post Graduate Adventure this past summer. When I asked why he chose to come back each summer, he said, “It feels like a family. I wouldn’t have learned all of the outdoor skills if I didn’t go to SOAR.” And of course he added, “It’s a lot fun.” Alex is 18 now and is applying to colleges. He said he hopes to come back to SOAR next summer, and we will be happy to have him.
I also had a chance to catch up with one our new Totem Pole Alums, Josh, who attended TWO courses at SOAR last summer. Josh said, “Thinking of SOAR, the first experience that comes to mind is that I always loved canoeing with friends. I love the views from the Eagle View ranch when you climb to the top of the hill. Also in North Carolina, Dolly’s Ice Cream bar was always a good time. SOAR taught me many useful life skills such as improving my ability to make friends, being responsible for myself, and survival skills–in the outdoors and for life generally. SOAR was the one thing I’ve done each year that I’ve really enjoyed, and knowing I could go back the next summer kept me going each year in school.”
It is such a joy to see campers return each summer, and we look forward to year number 5 each summer. Check out some of our other campers whose names were added to the Totem Pole this year!
2014 Totem Pole Alum
We are so grateful to have you all as part of our SOAR family!