Family Experience

Not afraid!

“Team building is all about relationships and relationships are all about patience.”

 This quote embodied my recent experience at Oklahoma’s Alumni Leadership Camp which was focused around team building.  This four-day, fast paced, high energy camp drew 382 students from around the state seeking a week of motivation and learning.  We were inspired by Bill Cordes, Kelly Barnes, Dr. Rick Rigsby, and Dr. Al Snyder our keynote speakers and enjoyed Water Olympics, a ropes course, and small group time.  This camp most definitely is a highlight of my year of service.  It is amazing what can be accomplished when we are surrounded by positive individuals who all desire to grow.  I was blessed with many other helpful small group leaders and an amazing small group to share this experience with.  This group of individuals made the week wonderful and helped to teach and reinforce some very valuable points in life.  Here are some thoughts on our week…

“Positive attitude will not allow you to do anything that you want, but it will allow you to do everything better.” 

Throughout our time together, there were activities we breezed through and others where we struggled. The group understood we were naturally talented at some things and they would come easy. On the ropes course we did wonderful at the walk of faith helping to guide each other on 2x4s held up in the air.

“1…2…3…1…2…3″

On the other hand we struggled with the land skis and having everyone move together.  The group stayed positive and preserved to walk 25 feet together reaching our goal.  Not only was the positive attitude contagious it helped us to laugh so much and have a wonderful time! Even when a couple of our small group members tripped off the land skis we could hardly stop laughing.  It was such an enjoyable time made of great memories.

- Don’t forget to stay positive and laugh.

Patience and balance!

“When you pray to God for patience, do you think that he gives you patience or the opportunity to be patient?”

I was continually amazed at how patient my small group was with me when I made mistakes facilitating in our small group or I was not sure about the traditions of camp.  They were also so patient with each other as some had attended camp or participated in the activity before and others it was all brand new.  We grew together and learned together realizing that each person learns at a different pace and has a different set of experiences.  This was especially evident when we shared stories about when our role was changed in life whether that was from a brother or sister graduating, to having a family member pass away, or becoming the captain of a sports team.  My small group openly shared their experiences which helped to shape their identity.

-Relax and patiently help those around you learn.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but in time my bones will heal.  The words you say, you may never know, the words you say may kill.”

This quote sounds a little different from the typical one we all bought into and believed as young kids.  We feel like this is a much more accurate quote especially in our high school hallways now days.  One of the most powerful tools we have is our words.  We can choose to use this tool as a way to build up those around us or as a weapon against them. The discussion went deep as to how devastating our words can be and how we especially as leaders have a responsibility to not only live by example, but try to influence others to do the same.

-Remember the power we have and the way we must use it.

“It is really hard to hate someone when you know their story.”

By the end of our week of experiences, our small group was like a family.  We laughed together, struggled together, celebrated together and shared together.  We learned each other’s stories and supported one another continuously regardless of the task at hand.  This week has taught me that relationships are the most important aspects in our lives.  And my week gave me a few more to add to my family: Andy, Makayla, Keylan, Tanner, Kaitlyn, Alli, Mickey, Stephanie, Jamie, Haly, and Stetson.  “All of us need each of us, and each of us need all of us.”   Thank you for being a part of the most important part of life: others!

-Appreciate the people in your life. 

Our family! :)

Stationed by the ear of corn,

Jason Troendle

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