This post was written by 15-year-old Jenna, one of our 2019 camp participants. Jenna is the kinda girl who spreads love and laughter without limit. She isn't afraid to be silly. She is always a really bright light.
Even though she exudes all light and good things, Jenna also carries a lot of heavy things, including social anxiety and the complicated aftermath of three years of knee surgeries that left this strong, vibrant soul struggling to be active and find her happy place again. It's a lot for a girl with only 15 years on the planet.
But she showed up.
And she opened up.
And she tried. Even the oatmeal, which wasn't her favourite.
And the early mornings, too.
She said Yes.
To the experience and to her peers.
And the result compelled her to write this...
Girl in the wild: there are so many great things I could say about it.
My English teacher a bit ago asked us to think back to the greatest memory in our lives that we have and a moment and time from Girl in the Wild is where my mind shot to.
I remember it so clearly. The wonderful 6 other girls and I were out on the deck watching the stars. Having conversations about some of life’s deepest questions. I felt worth. I felt like there was no other place that I’d rather be in that place and time. Everything felt so perfect. Here I was unlocking a feeling of happiness, joy and worth. I clicked so well with the other girls there. It was meant to be. I was able to spend a whole week anxiety-free. I wasn’t worried about what the other girls thought of me and for the first time in the longest time I could be my 100% true authentic self. It was a pure feeling of self worth and happiness, which is a word that I don’t get to use very often.
Every day I woke up tired (of course) but I was ready to conquer the day with people that all meant so much to me even though I just met them. Those days were so filled with goal achieving, connections, and enjoyment. Those views were unlike anything that I’ve ever seen before and in that point and time I was just purely grateful for being able to experience what the world has to offer. I was free. I was free of all the mental health eating me up inside, and I genuinely enjoyed every minute of it (Besides waking up early as they all found out very quickly that I am not a morning person).
I remember it like it was yesterday, after the girls and I were out on that deck talking about some of life’s deepest questions, we all went back inside. It didn’t end there though, this memory. This memory is something that is going to stick by me as one of the greatest times of my life. I made a deep connection with a girl at that camp. We went back out. As everyone went to bed. We went back out onto that deck to lay under the stars.
It was the most breathtaking experience of my life. I remember seeing that shooting star and everything was right in life.
We shared a deep connection over religion and shared some things we thought would never leave our heads. Though we just met it felt as if I’ve known her forever. Everything in that moment and time was perfect. I felt alive. I felt like everything in that moment and time gave me this feeling of aliveness. It was meant to be and we both knew that in that time and moment we were meant to be there laying under those twinkling stars enjoying every moment. Even in silence it felt that so much was said. It was the best moment of my life and I will never ever forget it.
I am so thankful for everything Kim, and everyone at girl in the wild has done for us and changing my life for the better! — Jenna, 15.