Every year, since 1994, schools looking for character growth, student leadership, and a passion for the outdoors have come to the Leelanau Outdoor Center. This year, over 3900 participants made the trip to experience LOC. Our goal is to give students the opportunity for growth through experiences they otherwise would not have in their classroom. Their overcoming of this challenge happens so naturally. Each time a group comes to LOC the individuals become better citizens for their community just by more fully being themselves.
When we asked a group of 7th graders “What did you learn at LOC?” They first answered:
“That you can have fun without electronics!”
“The sand dunes move 3 feet a year”
Those are great answers but then we got some in depth looks into a student’s mind when we hear answers such as these:
“To trust myself”
“Don’t be afraid to be yourself”
“That we can accomplish more by working as a team”
“You can always help someone”
“That I need to be a more vocal leader”
And my favorite “To do your best all the time”
These are just a few examples from one group, who came for three days. That is growth. It starts with small realizations and it builds. It starts with crossing a beam on the high ropes course. This growth solidifies when that student decides they can lead their team through a challenge during the team building activity, because of this new found confidence. Then it is spread to their classmates when they realize this is a gift meant to be given, not hidden away under self-consciousness, shyness, fear of failure or judgement.
These adventures and learning experiences can take one small moment or it can take four days, but it happens so consistently class after class and year after year. So by saying it was another successful year at LOC, don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the term success. For a success in the growth of a student is the improvement of our future, and that is something to never be overlooked.
Thank you all for a great year! We look forward to seeing everyone again next year.
Yesterday wood, tomorrow ashes, only today does the fire burn brightly!