Transitions: Embracing Change – A word from Big John

by Andrea Wackerle

This morning I was woken by my daughter giving me a hug before heading off to school.  Today, you see, was a very special day in her life.  Today, she drove herself to school with a newly minted license she received only yesterday tucked into her wallet.  Someone asked me if I felt melancholy, and after a moment of thoughtful reflection I could definitively answer “No, not at all”.  I chose instead to bask in this moment of joy and transition for her.  Transitions are coming, and we can either fear them or welcome them with the opportunities they present.  

SOAR is in the midst of such a transition.  We recently dedicated the new kitchen that was funded by dear friends of SOAR who were so deeply thankful for the impact programs here had with their son. I was delighted to hear the facility exceeded their expectations and looked “As if it was always here in the way it blends into the facility.” As we conclude our first Capital Campaign I can’t wait to have the kitchen being used to feed groups this summer and breathe life back into this campus. Balsam base has been dormant long enough, and we will emerge better equipped to serve our amazing campers.

I encourage you to embrace the changes on the horizon and set a course towards success. Recently, an alumni, who is highlighted in this Newsletter, reached out to let us know how important SOAR had been in his life. “I was molded into the man I have become today:  a hard worker, able to focus “1,000%”, accepting myself for having a mind that works differently, and accepting of others who have limitations or challenges.”  Transitions create opportunities, and when we embrace them remarkable outcomes can be on the horizon.