Courage in Action: Little Lessons, Big Growth

Now, where does this pole go?”

 “Do I put the stakes in BEFORE I stick the poles in those little sleeve things or after?”

Anybody got a hammer I can use?”

These questions and many more were standard fare a few weeks ago, when I was honored by the company of some outstanding women at our first ever Not-So-Secret Weekend Adventure for Courageous Women. I’d promised them a beautiful experience with all kinds of goodies: new friends, growing skills, crickets and campfires, delicious dinners, a surprise or two, and for those who were up for it, one Big Growth Opportunity.

So from the beginning, we talked about how. How to read a map. How to choose a route, and a campground. (National parks and state parks are usually your best bet.) How to pick out a campsite (watch for drainage issues, roots, shade, & neighbors). How to cook on a camp stove. How to wash dishes without a sink – my way, and Carolyn’s way. :)

And how to set up a tent.

For most of them, it was the first time they’d ever done that simple task completely on their own. If you’ve been camping all your life as I have, that may not seem like such a big deal. But for so many women, this is a completely new experience. Even if they’ve camped before, there was often some fellow in the picture who tended to take over, or a friend who assumes they know things they don’t.

And creating a comfy new home in the middle of trees and grass with nothing more than a hammer, some fabric and a few light-weight poles is a pretty gosh-darn cool thing to do.

 And sometimes even small things we do build pride, and confidence.

If you’ve ever spent any time with little ones, you may remember the pride they felt when they FINALLY learned how to tie their own shoes. Or write their own name. And later, when they learned long division. Or how to swim.

Becky picked up some extra help to stuff her tent back into it’s case. (I regret that I never got his name, but meeting cool kids is just one of the many blessings of time in a campground.)

Did she tell him he didn’t know what he was doing and to let her do it? NO. Was he proud? What do you think?

 Those simple accomplishments lay the foundation for bigger things to come. Because with each new skill, their confidence grows. And with growing confidence, they’ll rise to bigger and bigger challenges. This is why it’s soooo important that parents LET their kids try things, even if they stumble through it.

And we are no different.

So I encourage you to step out and try something that’s new for you. Get someone to teach you, but don’t let them do it FOR you. LEARN it. Be proud of yourself and let it show. As someone once said, “it ain’t braggin’ if it’s true.” :)

Look at that picture at the top of this page. They were so proud!

Doesn’t that make you smile?

Now – tell me about something YOU’VE done lately that was new for you.

What made YOU proud? 



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