By Jeff Becraft
Several years ago, I was at a camp called SOTO out in Arkansas that was being held for children’s home kids from across several states. On Wednesday night at those camps, they have what is called “dance night.” It is a lot of group and cultural dances and it is a lot of fun. It is held outdoors on this semi-basketball court.
This is in August. In Arkansas. It is incredibly hot and incredibly humid. You sweat like a big dog.
To get to our cabin after it was over, we loaded up on what I call “the party truck” which is a flat-bed truck that has a full-blown sound system rigged up outside and even disco lights running underneath that change color. Everyone on the property knows when we are coming.
On this particular night, the truck didn’t go straight to the cabin. Instead, it stopped at the creek and the driver and some others jumped out and went running into the creek fully clothed with a bunch of kids piling in after them.
I thought about it for a second. I would have to unhook the insulin pump, put away the glucose sensor, put plugs into the ports, then deal with keeping the pump and transmitter dry after getting back into the truck with soaking wet clothes…
I sat there. Time was ticking by. I then decided I would go for it. And after I got everything unhooked and started to get out of the truck, everyone comes piling out of the creek and heading back to the truck. I simply sat back down.
As we went around the circle that night talking about the highlights of the day, almost every single person talked about jumping into the creek with their clothes on. And they didn’t just talk about it… the were bursting at the seams talking about it. Enthusiastically jabbering about how great it was.
I had missed out. It is not the first time I had missed out on something in life.
There are times in life when opportunities come up and it might be outside our box, or something we are not expecting, or something we might think is inconvenient or requires too much effort or whatever, but as we say in Youth Corps, “the fun is in the action.”
The next year I was ready. Before we even left the basketball court, I had already unhooked the insulin pump and everything else. I think the leaders were just planning on going back to the cabin but I overheard one of them say, “Well… Becraft has already unhooked all of his electronics.” We went to the creek.
So the next time something comes along that might be outside of your box, be ready to jump in.
It just might be more refreshing than you realize.
It’s a great day to have a great day!
Jeff Becraft is the Executive Director for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].