Stu Speaks
Stu Speaks

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A vision

Tue, 2008-07-22 16:16

Can you trust me on this one? Can you stand outside of reality for just a few moments and pretend that you have boundless possibilities in front of you? You could grab them, any of them, anything you want is right there… waiting for you. Isn’t that a brilliant idea? I know, it’s hard, in fact I bet when I asked you to do it, many of you laughed at your own ideas and dreams. It’s the way we are brought up, most of us anyway.

“Be realistic!’

“Don’t be silly”

“Stop dreaming!”

“Come back to reality.”

“That’s a dumb idea!”

If I could get a dollar for every time I was told that I would be able to vacation for a few weeks in an exotic place… I truly believe that you can do anything you put your mind to. If you push out the voices of doubt, yours and those around you, whatever you conceive can become reality.

I heard a great story yesterday about former US President, Bill Clinton. When he was a young teenager he toured the White House and told the then President “I’m going to have your job someday!” I am sure thousands of children have said that, many have truly believed it but then most come back to “reality” and move on.

Last summer I was driving through Algonquin Park and saw a legendary camp… Tamakwa. If you have ever seen the movie “Indian Summer” you may recognize the name. It’s been around for a long time. Many famous people have attended the camp. There is a sign at the boat dock that is made out of Birch that simply says, “Tamakwa”. You have to drive through it to get to the camp. I love that sign. When I drove past the camp last summer I stopped and got a picture of myself just underneath it. It was kind of cool.

On Friday, while I was away in London, Ontario, the campers and staff did something that I am SO proud of. They built me (the camp) a YLCC entrance just like Tamakwa… but better. I have had many visions of events that will happen in my future. I dreamt once of this happening, I could see it. When I arrived back at camp at midnight I was met buy a bunch of campers, staff and senior staff. They stopped me on the road and asked me to get out of the car. I was then blindfolded and walked down to the entrance. They removed the fabric from my eyes… I was in awe. I was in tears. I was proud. My vision had become reality. I feel good about it, the campers and staff that built it feel good about it and in the end a new piece of the YLCC quilt has been sewn into our story.

What is your vision of the future… what do you see happening to you? Remember to let go of reality and write a list… you just never know what will happen.


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  • Stu Speaks

    Students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited. Stu is hilarious…seriously. “Humour is never a bad thing” said one student.

    ~Annalisa Varano - Vice Principal - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    They say a great presenter “leaves them wanting more”. Well, we loved your presentation and the entire team asked me when you will be back! You are truly STUpendous!

    ~Nancy Klensch - Founder of Summit Kids
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is an energetic, entertaining and dynamic presenter. He captures is audiences’ attention and keeps the room engaged for the entire presentation! His stories in his presentation captures everyone at different points, even the teachers!

    ~Sara Meaney - Cobourg Collegiate Institute
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was great! Staff and students felt it really broke the anxiety in the building and we even got cupcakes today from one of the students.

    ~Carrie Rowlandson - William Aberhart High School, Calgary Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing 600 adolescents laughing their heads off. He delivers a terrific message and has the entire audience engaged, thinking, listening and most importantly laughing within seconds, and he keeps it going for over an hour. Thanks again on behalf of the Shores!!

    ~Doug Woods - Vice Principal, Nantyr Shores Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu’s speech did exactly what I hoped it would do when I tried to bring him in: it brought the school together for a good laugh while empowering the student body to be the change they wish to see in their classroom. I feel he hit this goal perfectly.

    ~Steven Fotheringham - Oakville Trafalgar High School
  • Stu Speaks

    I really liked how the speech really just seemed like Stu was telling us funny stories, but he always related it back to the overall message. It didn’t sound like a speech at all, it was as if he was just talking to the crowd. I would say that he is excellent in connecting with the audience and keeping them entertained. There was not a two minute period in Stu’s speech were nobody was laughing. He kept us amused throughout the entire presentation. I thought he was perfect.

    ~James Palloto
  • Stu Speaks

    I would highly recommend Stu, his engaging personality was a real hook for the students and his messages were ones that many of them could identify with. The humour was great and the students shared that they enjoyed the presentation.

    ~Teresa Fowler - W.H. Croxford High School, Airdrie, Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is personable. Students are willing to listen to him. They enjoy listening to him. He has a message, but he is also entertaining. He is fun to listen to and students don’t feel talked down to or preached at.

    ~Tanya Lacey - McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, ON
  • Stu Speaks

    I was at the OCA conference on May 6th, and I just wanted to thank you on being such a wicked keynote… you definitely put me back in the camp mindset and reminded me of what’s truly important about the up-coming summer. Once again, a job very well done.

    ~Emily Summers
  • Stu Speaks

    The students really enjoyed Stu’s humour and low-key but critical message about getting involved and getting the most out of their High School experience. I would recommend Stu as a speaker who relates well to students, is funny, and gets the message out without preaching.

    Thank you,

    ~Lynn Toye