Monday, October 10, 2011

My Favorite Season

Unitarian Universalist Church, Lexington, MA
Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. Summer is great for tans and trips to the beach, spring makes everything feel renewed, and winter is the time for creme brulee latees from Starbucks and watching Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!

But to me? Autumn is magical. The air is finally cooling off from hot summers, leaves are changing colors, days are getting shorter, rain is more frequent, and you can wear your favorites sweaters, boots, and jackets. Living in the Boston area definitely contributed to autumn being my favorite season. Up there, it definitely is like no other experience. The leaves turn into colors you could never imagine you would see. The centers of the town have leaves on the ground, the little white churches stand out, everyone is walking everywhere anticipating that winter that will come and occasionally make you house bound for a few days. To me, that is fall. More recently, since living in Alabama and working at a camp, I love the fall season because that's when we have a bunch of stuff happens that you don't have in the spring or summer. Fall is our off season but we have Adult Camp, Be Ready Camp, SCI-VIS, and recruitment for next year's new class of crew trainers.

As a veteran crew trainer, I get the enjoyment of being involved in these programs. Be Ready fully has my heart. We train a group of about 90 kids for 4 days, teaching skills such as triage, search and rescue, extinguishing fires, first aid, along with other skills. Then we have a mock disaster, complete with "victims", fire and rescue squads, paramedics, the American Red Cross, FEMA, and other local emergency agencies that work with the kids. The best part of the disaster? The kids are the ones in charge. They're the Incident Commander, chiefs, captains, search and rescue teams, medical teams, and logistics. Seeing 6th graders switch into adult mode and taking charge is amazing.

SCI-VIS, Space Camp for the Interested and Visually Impaired Student, is a completely other experience. For a week at camp, the programs are only open to kids and teenagers who have some kind of vision loss. Every kid that comes has a story. They often teach you more than you could ever imagine teaching them. Do they have their own unique challenges? Most definitely. I will not lie about that. I've worked with a lot of kids who sometimes just decide to quit; but in SCI-VIS, none of those kids quit. We refuse to let them think that they've failed activities. Sometimes, they have other handicaps that prevent them from completing tasks, but they still try to do it. I've experienced 2 SCI-VIS sessions, and none was like the other. They were both amazing, but each had their own experiences and lessons that I've taken from that experience.

If I could make autumn last all year, I definitely would.

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