By George Baldini

Our days can be long. Very long. And last Thursday evening, while running the last dribbling session of camp, I was wiped out. I was losing energy; I was getting tired of yelling at an unruly group of campers to listen; I was recovering from a sickness; and I found myself frequently glancing at my watch awaiting 7:00 – the end of stations. I felt bad. The kids were so psyched to be able to get this opportunity to be here, and I wasn’t at 100%. I managed to muster the energy to finish the session, and after I lead them back to the field for the day’s breakdown, I stumbled into the cafeteria, sat down, put my head on the table, and shut my eyes for a few minutes.

However, just as I was able to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet by myself, I got a tap on my shoulder. I thought it was another camper wanting to give me high fives, jump on my back, and mess around with me – everything I needed a break from for a bit. But when I turned around, this little girl was different. She wasn’t hyper, but instead, calm and quiet, while staring up at me with her pretty brown eyes. I asked her what’s going on. Smiling at me, she brought my head down closer, so I could hear her clearly. “Sir Georgenana,” she said. “Thank you so much for everything. I am so – ” She started stuttering, searching for the right words to say. English wasn’t her first language, so she ended up finishing the rest in Tamil. After a little giggle, she ran back outside into the sea of campers ready to leave for the day. Although I couldn’t understand what she said, that was all I needed. That gave me all the happiness and energy I needed to finish the day and the week, and excite me for the next week. If I could have this effect on one person, I could have it on everyone. Maybe there are more people out there who feel similar ways.

I was so thankful of this conversation because I also realized that being tired and lethargic is unacceptable in these circumstances. There are so many lives to affect, and I can’t miss out on the opportunity to help out someone else.

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