Present Secrets

What I learned from my camp counselor…

What I learned from my camp counselor…

Between the ages of 7 and 13, I went to Bible camp
every summer, 2-6 weeks at a time. (My parents were keen on it,
and I loved summer camp!)

Anyway, one thing they did each day is have us all get into the “big room” with our bibles, and they’d have “Bible test.” The man at the front of the room
would read a verse, and to win, you’d have to be the first person to race
through your bible…

1) have found the verse,
2) get up as fast as you could, and
3) read it out loud, correctly.

My first summer, I was not that familiar with all the books and
verses and where they all were (7 yrs old) but I really wanted
to win one of those contests. So I asked my counselor (we each
had a special counselor assigned to us) if SHE could just sit next
to me, and when the man at the front of the room gave the signal,
if she could just quick find it, then give me her bible, and then I could
get up and read it. So I could win one.

She said something I remember now, MANY years later.

“Well yes, of course Kimmie, I want to see you win. Yes, I could
do that. But if I find it and you stand up read it first, did you really
win the contest?”

Oh. Well. If you put it that way, well, not really. I guess. Sigh. Sniff.

She could see I was disappointed, but of course she was
right. She goes:

“Listen Kimmie, each evening, before bed, and every afternoon
right after lunch, I’ll come sit on your bunk with you, and we’ll
practice. Then you’ll get really fast. Maybe by the end of the
week…YOU can find it AND be first to stand up and read it.

OK. Darn. But yes OK, deal.

And that’s what we did. Except I did that 4-5 times each day. The
more I did it, the more I liked this challenge. I noticed I got faster.
And I liked knowing that I could find those verses.

So, at the end of the 3rd week that summer, at one of the daily
Bible Test contests, the man at the front give the verse we were
supposed to find, and I totally was ready. I found it, stood up,
read it out loud, and won that round. !! I was beside myself and
just jumped up and down in my place.

The feeling is at this moment, almost as it was then. My face
flushes even now as I tell it – both because of the feel of the win –
but also because of the “help” I asked her to give me, that she
gently denied me. Had she done it, she’d have crippled me – at
least for a time. Because. I’d never have learned I could win it on
my own. All. On. My. Own.

I was never the same after that. I. Knew. I. Could. If. I. Practiced.

Moral: Do not deny others the chance to learn (by practice)
ALL the pieces they need to master, to make a success of their
business. If you do things for them – like lend them starting money –
how will they ever get to feel the confidence and thrill that comes
from knowing THEY DID something they didn’t think they could?

My counselor persuaded me to go through a process I have
never forgotten, that has served me all of my adult life.

Meryl Streep said, “Become your own pillar of strength.” This
was a way my counselor helped me become that.

Why not you?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • One of the greatest gifts to give a person is help them do what they might have felt they were not capable of doing and more than likely would not do, if left to do it on their own. Even if this was something they wanted with all their heart. And the greatest triumph is to allow yourself, or allow another to help you push through great inner, and or, outer difficulties to reach your goal. Whenever you do huge things and huge barriers begin to emerge( which they most definitely will), you become a much stronger person for making it through to the finish line. While the reward, which many times may be tangible and you’ll feel so damn good! for achieving, it’s what you become that stays with you…forever! There is a great feeling that you get whenever you look back and think, that was some ride getting there, but I did it!! And it will be a part of you when you pursue any other major venture.

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