This one is important.
Yesterday at YLCC we held a celebration of life for a 17 year old camper. A young girl that took her own life. She was a beautiful, fun, talented teenager that could not find peace. It was one of the saddest things I have ever been part of. I was asked to speak on behalf of YLCC. She had said that summer camp was the only place that she felt truly happy. I understand. Research shows we need to connect kids with green, nature. It heals. It’s why I did not hesitate when asked if family and friends could gather in our dining hall and remember together on a beautiful fall day. More than 400 people showed up. We had a… lovely service, I guess. I say, “I guess” because I struggle with what to do next. How do we stop this? Is there an easy solution? The answer is no. It’s a constant struggle.
This morning I was chatting with one of our amazing camp health team. We talked about the challenges of mental health and I said we just keep pushing forward, keep making connections, keep trying to reach more youth with positivity and meet them where we can on their journey. At summer camp we are working on a new protocol for helping and understanding. It won’t be perfect, it will be a work in constant change, but we will.
Recently I was questioned by an adult in education if I was doing this for the right reasons. I couldn’t really be just trying to reach kids and help? I must have a financial goal or ulterior motive. I know I don’t. But, I will never change the doubters, I can’t. There will always be cynics and critics. I don’t care. I am actually just trying to reach more kids with substance and tools to become better humans and leaders. There’s a weird notion that if you are doing good for others you can’t or shouldn’t make living at it. I think that’s where we are a bit broken. If we celebrated the people who run companies, for-profit companies, that do good in the world and showed youth you can make a GREAT living by changing the world, helping others, caring for the planet, developing youth leaders what an awesome planet we could create. I am now more motivated to have LESS events like we had yesterday. It’s why I wanted to make the film “Rising Above”. To give youth hope who struggle. It I am able to pay someone to promote that message and take the film across Canada… AWESOME. We have speakers that work hard, making SO much less than our corporate colleagues but still try and make a difference in young people’s lives! Let’s embrace these change makers, these incredible humans of positivity.
Maybe if we do, the heroes of our young people won’t be just hockey and basketball players, rappers and rock stars, movie stars and models. They will be story tellers, ethical entrepreneurs, teachers, social activists and healers.
I would rather see a teacher, entrepreneur or nurse be paid a million dollars than another basketball player make 30 million dollars. Maybe then our youth will measure their lives based on their impact on the planet and not their likes on Instagram. What if?
That’s why YLCC offers so many amazing programs, speakers and events to change the conversation to make a difference. That’s my mission, it can be yours too.
In leadership and gratitude,
Founder YLCC Inc.