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A simple thank you goes a long way

September 20, 2021

a letter from nichole

On departure day, my first summer at camp, a parent stopped me in the parking lot. She’d just picked up her 13-year-old son.

I asked, “Did you forget something?”

She started to cry.

“This is a smile that we haven’t seen since he’s been diagnosed,” she said. “I never thought I would see it on my son’s face again. Thank you”

It was a short exchange, less than two minutes at the most. Yet, the experience was profound for me.

It was a conversation that perfectly exemplifies September’s Core Value: A simple thank you goes a long way.

“Simple” can be a misleading word. A child’s laugh is the most pure and simple thing in the world. But it also holds so much beauty and meaning. Likewise, “thank you” is a simple phrase. And it, too, holds much more than what’s on the surface.

Our donors give us the gift of their support and resources.
Our volunteers give us their time and talent.
Parents give us their trust.

Each of these gifts allow us the honor of helping campers and their families live without limits.

To say thank you, we craft notes and send emails. The campers write postcards. We express our gratitude in all the ways we can think of. And I still wonder—actually, I know—it may not truly capture the depth of our appreciation.

We have a tradition at camp. At the end of each session, our staff and volunteers stand in a circle. They toss a "game ball" to one another. The person throwing calls out something great the person catching the ball has done. With each pass, we celebrate the gifts everyone has shared to make camp possible.

If we were all standing in a circle right now, I’d toss the game ball to you. I’d shout out how amazing it is to see you give freely with an open heart, expecting nothing in return. And I’d hope this simple thank you goes a long way to show how special you are to us and to our campers.

~ Nichole