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Ornj's Spiel - What's New??

Wed, 2014-11-05 11:07
Ornj's Spiel - What's New??

Well, this is fun!! A blog!! Me … writing a blog??

You never, ever know …

Now, truth be told, I’ve been blogging for about 15 or so years. Our old website had a page on it called The Sandbox

which (in its various forms) was my sounding board about 200 times a year!! I’m a teacher (when I’m not a summer camp director), and I would write a message-of-the-day (I called it my Sandcastle du Jour!!) every schoolday morning from September until June. Sometimes my SdJ (give it a second, you’ll figure it out!!) was based on a quote that I had read, sometimes it was based on a video I had seen, sometimes it was based on a conversation with a friend or with a student … and sometimes it was just me letting my mind take me wherever it decided to go …

Whatever ‘castle I wrote, I tried to find a lesson or a message to share with my fellow Sandboxers each day. It was my way of staying in touch with my YLCC family throughout the school year, of sharing my ORNJ heart with them even when we weren’t sharing campfires and Leadership!!

Ooooooops, I just realized that I forgot to introduce myself …

Hi … I’m ORNJ. I’m also Dave Graham. I’m a teacher and a learner, I’m an actor and a director, I’m a writer and a camp director, I’m a laugher and a really bad magician, I’m a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Argos (which I spell ARRRRRRRGOOOOOOOSSSSSSS!!) and I am a celebrator of life. The ORNJ part of my name comes from a time when I used to have a lot more hair … when I was much younger, people would tell me that my hair was red, I claimed it was orange and, over time, that morphed into ORNJ. I spell it with capital letters … don’t know why … it’s just always felt right!! It’s always felt comfortable and familiar … I like that!!

I’m calling my blog ORNJ SPIELS … that’s an old name, from pre-Sandbox days, in fact!! I used to write a column for a monthly magazine called Canadian Spirit, and that was my column name. To spiel is to talk (okay, it’s closer to babble!!) and, if you say the name really quickly, it sounds like “orange peels”!! It’s funny … to me anyway!!

So here comes the crazy part … I called this blog WHAT’S NEW??, and I’m not sure if you have noticed or not, but most of what I’ve written about so far has been what’s old … the Sandbox, Canadian Spirit, me when I had hair … I really haven’t moved into the “new”.

And that’s because new is scary sometimes … new is risky … new is dangerous. New requires us to leave our comfortable space … it requires us to step beyond our safety and to risk making a mistake, to risk looking silly, to risk falling down.

But new is always where our lives can change!! New is where we encounter our possibilities and our potential … new is where we discover unimagined opportunities … new is where everything changes!!

We shouldn’t fear the new … we should welcome it, we should embrace it, we should celebrate it!!

This is the new YLCC website … this is the start of a new summer camp season at YLCC … this is the new ORNJ SPIELS blog … this is the new. And the new holds within it adventures undiscovered.

I have no idea where it’s going to take us … what adventures and possibilities await us. But I’m excited to share this adventure with you … to walk this path together, to learn about (and from!!) one another, to discover what’s new!!

Here we go … here we grow!!

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  • Youth Camps

    “Thank you Stu and Ornj and the AMAZING counsellors and staff for making the past two weeks amazing for Noah. He sobbed when we left, and can’t wait to return. He showed me his journal and we compared it to last year’s - what a difference a year makes.”

  • Youth Camps

    “Nothing makes my heart sing more, than to see my kids having the most amazing life experiences together. YLCC makes this happen every year. Pure Gold. ‘Thank You’ can’t really cover it …”

  • Youth Camps

    “Thank you for the best summer I have experienced to date. YLCC taught me how to embrace my values and to express opinions. The entire camp and amazing staff believed in me achieving any goal I were to set. “