(Fifty Nifty Years in the United States Series)
I loved his communication style at camp (this was the YMCA Camp in Florida from 2004-2009). This camper was all about paint ball and he taught me a thing or two about communication.
Collin was one of our paintball campers (at least that’s what I called them). At 12 or 13 he spent about a month at camp each summer. Yes, we had a paintball program and when I arrived at that camp, I was not an advocate at all. It wasn’t until I met Collin that I was convinced that there were great outcomes for the program.
Matt “Copperhead” Sheah (who I blogged about recently) first brought him to my attention and asked me to come to a morning period to watch Collin in action.
At 13, Collin was in charge of his team. He was a foot shorter and thin as a rail and took over the minute he stepped onto the field. He talked and taught everyone about the need for communication and that actions were needed more than words. When I think of what he brought to the field, I think of his influence, his intuition, his magnetism and most importantly, his connection.
I was captivated by how he connected to his team on an emotional level. Collin left camp in 2008 and I have not seen him since that summer. I continue to hear from Collin regularly. His most recent correspondence reminded me about the power of prayer. (If you are not a prayerful person, perhaps thinking of prayer as the law of attraction.)
John Maxwell talks about communication being the greatest skill. Collin showed, clarity, continuity, and creativity in his style and manner. He reminds me that the things you need are there and you just need to reach out and ask for it and it will show up in your life. He is not the first to have taught me this. He is the latest to have reminded me that of which I already know.
I am so grateful that the Collins of the world continue to show up on my journey over the past 50 years in these Untied States. What a joyful and amazing thing it is to learn from the young people we are blessed to serve. Nelson Henderson said it best, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” Thank you my friend, Collin.