I am convinced that the greatest legacy we can leave our children are happy memories…..~ Og Mandino
I want to begin by thanking Leslie and the entire TLC Administration for asking me to speak at this service. As many of you know, returning to Tripp as a Counselor has been a dream of mine for several years. And although I always knew I would have many Friday evening services ahead of me, I never imagined I would be given the honor of speaking to the camp, so thank you all so much.
My biggest fear when I left Tripp Lake in 2013 was that I would not leave a legacy, that no one would remember me and all of the hilarious and happy things that I did while I was here. But who am I? Well, I’m the basketball counselor for starters. I’m a former camper; I’m a ‘Levy”, well not the Levy that was Climber Captain in 2012 or the one who created charge to Narnia or the one who won the Spirit of Tripp Lake. I am the other one. I wasn’t a captain. I wasn’t a sing song leader. I wasn’t a white cap. I never won Spirit of Tripp Lake or had a main part on the OTW stage, or even bunked hopped all the way to 1AB. I never received any of these official recognitions, yet it is HERE that I have had some of my fondest memories and made my best friends. And that is because I am important to camp. That’s not to say our captains and sing song leaders and white camp are not important members of our community too. They certainly are. But how would those sing song leaders win sing song without a whole team of singers in front of them or captains get amazing backdrops without the diligent work of their managers? The white caps need the motivation of those cheerers in the dining hall who celebrate every stroke passed. At Tripp Lake, everyone has a role. Everyone is important here.
Never have I felt more important in my life than at Tripp Lake and I am so thankful for that. Tripp Lake needed ME, just as it needs each of YOU, to pass to a teammate in soccer, to remember old camp songs in OTW, to cheer in the dining hall, to make sure the famous TLC hug never goes out of style. Tripp Lake needs each of us to welcome out new campers and to celebrate the old ones. To write songs, race boats, climb rocks; to miss the bull’s eye in archery but hit the target. This list is endless. You all have been given such a great yet wonderful responsibility from Tripp Lake. And that is to recognize how important you are in making the Tripp Lake experience so unique.
And by being here, you gain the confidence to realize how important you are out there. Somedays out in the ‘real world’, when you’re working really hard in school or you’re struggling with a big problem, you can forget what role you play in the communities you are a part of, whether those are your classrooms, sports teams or even families. But here, everyone plays a part, from ensemble on the OTW stage to the team captains. Now will everyone wearing white, or blue or white and blue shorts please stand up. (Everyone stands.) You are all important. You will ALL leave a legacy. Each of you will help make this summer unlike any summer that has every happened in the past and any that will happen in the future. And that is truly what makes Tripp Lake special. Thank you.