Hello Acting Manitou friends and family! As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, I’m sure many of you are looking forward to heading back to camp! And, sadly, many of us (myself included) are getting ready for new and different adventures. I’m so excited that so many of my friends will be getting to experience the magic of Acting Manitou again this summer, but I will miss getting to do so alongside them. I thought for my blog post I’d tell you all a little bit about what I will be doing this summer, and how I will bring the lessons I learned at camp along with me. I am lucky enough to have been offered a grant from my college called the Global Citizens Fellowship, which provides students with the means to take part in service abroad. This summer, I’ll spend 10 weeks volunteering at an organization in Johannesburg, South Africa that works with mothers with HIV and their children. This is an opportunity for me to give back, and to learn more about service and an issue I am not too familiar with. I’ve been thinking a lot about how even though I will be across the globe, my work this summer will be influenced in many ways by the spirit of Acting Manitou.
The first component of an Acting Manitou member’s job is to support and inspire others. The people I have met at Acting Manitou have inspired me to be my best self, and for me that means supporting others. My friends, counselors, and coworkers at Acting Manitou have always supported me to the fullest, and I have always left each summer feeling inspired to do the same for the people in my life. My work this summer will allow me to support a new group of people, and to learn from them how I can best support people who face the challenges that they do.
Acting Manitou also pushes us to challenge ourselves creatively. This summer will be my first experience traveling abroad alone, and immersing myself in an unknown community is certain to be a challenge. The skills I have learned by challenging myself at Acting Manitou will no doubt help me to navigate all the new experiences that this summer will bring.
And, of course, as I look towards this summer, I continue to remind myself to take joy in all I do. While I will be very sad to be missing my Acting Manitou family, each of you will be in my heart, inspiring me, pushing me to be my best self, and bringing me joy. I encourage you to embrace every part of Acting Manitou’s mission this summer, whether you are at camp or not, and to carry that spirit with you, whatever you are doing, and know that I will be doing the same.