Yesterday was a great day. The world did not come to end and I had a great time with a great group of kids. Yesterday I was shown just how special the kids of today are. My youngest son is on a Relay for Life team. They fund raise for a great cause, a cure for Cancer. There is no one out there reading this blog that has not been touched by cancer, and I am thankful that organizations like Relay for Life are out there working to fund that opportunity to turn cancer into a curable affliction.
So yesterday started out at a Pancake breakfast at Applebee’s. A great fund raiser that the kids really enjoyed. Then it was off to the High School, where they joined 200 of their fellow students in a Relay for Life. The student government of the High School planned, prepared, and executed yesterdays event and I am impressed with their dedication and caring nature to take on such a task. They could have easily just had a dance, a car wash, or bake sale. But these young people put together a first class event. They had games, food, and music (live music). They invited cancer survivors to speak and share their thanks, which was moving. But I think the one single thing that impressed me the most was that all of the teams at the event were made up of students from the High School. The band had a team, student government had a team, various clubs and groups of friends all showed up to support this great cause. They arrived with team t-shirts and set up their “camps”. The administrative staff of the High School pitched in and cooked burgers, hot dogs, and breakfast this morning.. all out of their own pockets.
It moved me that these kids cared enough to spend their entire weekend dedicated to this cause. Early this morning, about 2 AM or so, they stopped the relay and everyone walked into a dark gym. Around the gym floor were bags with candles in them, on the bags were messages written by the students to loved ones that have been effected by cancer. We sat silently on the floor surrounded by these luminaries as a few students stood and shared their connection with cancer. A set of sisters that lost their father to cancer, one that lost a grandpa and the stories touched each and everyone in the gym. They asked for people to stand if they had been touched by a Mother or Father with cancer… people stood, a Grandfather or Grandmother.. more stood, a spouse, friend, brother, sister.. even more took to their feet, still in silence. Nephews? Nieces?.. still more stood. By the time they had asked these questions all but a small hand full of the participants were standing. I could hear the muffled tears and heart felt rubbing of backs as the students looked around and truly saw the impact on just their group that cancer has brought. And when the emotional roller coaster was about to let me off.. we were invited to quietly walk around the Luminaries, reading the bags and seeing the painful messages.. “Hang in there Mom”, ” I miss you Dad”, “In loving memory of my Grandma”.. touched.
We went back into the commons to continue the relay, as I sat with a few other parents we looked around the room and these great kids. We shared how special they are, not just to us, but that how these kids act today will make our world such a better place tomorrow. The current generation often gets a bad rap.. they are slackers that need to pull their pants up and take out the ear buds… but you know what.. I think those are too broad of paint strokes… these kids are socially aware and care. They have hearts of gold and want to help. They are growing up in a time of super media and up to the second information. They are smarter than we often give them credit for and they are moving in a world where things are changing faster than they can learn it. The jobs that they will have after graduation have not even been invented yet. The language they speak evolves and the technology that they use is out dated the minute they walk out of the store.
I look at these kids and their friendships, the way they treat each other, their caring nature and I see a great future.
We have great kids. I am proud of them.
Part of the Relay for Life obviously is the relay itself. Team Kellogg (the team my son is on) walked in one hour shifts. I took a few of those hours with them. As I walked I listened to music, podcasts, and chatted with some of the kids. After the last shift I walked I could not help but feel great about the walking and what we were doing there.. which of course brought it all back to Scouting. “To help other People at all times” Team Kellogg raised close to $900 dollars for Relay for Life. I do not think they understand the impact that money will make. They were awarded the “Gold Team” distinction for raising the most in this Relay for Life event. While it is great to be the winners, it is better to know that what they won is going to help.
#100daysStrong is doing that in each of us too.. committment to a goal and achieving it will show that we are serious about fitness and healthy choices. How we live will be reflected back in the Scouts, and in this case, the friends of my son, our sons and daughters and how they live. If we truly care about it.. we need to share it.
I read about American kids being obese and unhealthy. Well, we can help change that, just like Team Kellogg is helping to find a cure for cancer.
Day 2 Health tip:
Make healthy eating and physical activities fun!
Take advantage of physical activities you and your friends enjoy doing together and eat the foods you like. Be adventurous – try new sports, games and other activities as well as new foods. You’ll grow stronger, play longer, and look and feel better! Set realistic goals – don’t try changing too much at once.
Have a Great Scouting Day!