This past week, Weeze and I were fortunate enough to attend the TriState Camp Conference with over 4000 camp professionals. We learned so much. We listened so much. We shared so much. The week was exhausting, rejuvenating, and inspiring.
One of the most impactful parts of this conference was the closing keynote speaker, Billie Jean King. You heard that right. One of the most impactful women in sports and in the women's movement spoke to the Camping Industry about her story, her struggles, her successes. If you don't know much about her, you can read this article, or watch this Ted Talk from 2015, or this movie "Battle of the Sexes", a movie about her life and the most important game in athletic history (in my humble opinion). She is a spitfire! Her energy made Weeze and I crack up laughing and cry from inspiration at the same time. I call those, Power Tears (more on that in a future blog post).
Billie Jean spent a good part of her speech talking about finding your most authentic self, and the power that camp has to empower youth to live their best lives. Wow. The first time she mentioned living authentically, Weeze and I both looked at each other at the same time, and whispered, "That's us. That's our mission. That's what Longacre does."
Finding your most authentic self is not easy, especially when the pressures of society are at an all time high. At camp, we give campers a space to be: to be still, to be present, to be heard, to be surrounded by supportive adults, to be themselves. When you focus on yourself, you are able to discover more about who you are when you are your best. This is the essence of Longacre. We will empower you to be exactly who you are meant to be, by giving you opportunities to practice being your most authentic, genuine, true, self.
Billie Jean stated, "Girls are taught to be perfect, boys are taught to be brave. But no one is perfect and no one is brave all the time." At Longacre, we hope to inspire this idea, and many of the lessons that BJK taught the world, which will inspire and empower all of our campers to find and live their most authentic selves.
We hope you join us this summer!