“When we truly examine who we are and what we are capable of doing, we know where to start and how to blaze a trail.” Carolyn Finch Body Language and LifeStyle Communication expert™
It’s been many, many decades since I was a camper at Four-H Camp Wading River, Long Island New York. But the experiences I shared with others is still with me daily. There were happenings every day that changed my life. It all started with my sister who had been enrolled for a week at camp. Our parents thought it would be a good idea if I also went to camp.
It was the end of my third grade year and it had been a huge turning point in my life. In third grade I was still going down the hall to the first grade classroom where I joined the bird groups for reading. It took me years to understand why I was a yellow bird for so long. In third grade I became a red bird and then a blue bird. By spring I was able to join my fellow students in the third grade classroom reading group. They weren’t birds at all, merely “reading Groups.”
I didn’t know as a young child that the bird groups represented yellow for third place like a yellow ribbon, red for second and blue for first. It doesn’t make any difference what you label something or someone, kids and other people, like adults usually figure out you are different. That was me. I always sat under the teacher’s nose in the front corner seat. The problem was that I couldn’t see the other students when they spoke out or read in class so I always had to turn around to look at them. I was supposed to be “following along in my book.” You figure out the consequences!
At camp I could be myself. I didn’t “have” to read and no one would make fun of me because my eyes wandered toward the wall. In those days we were called wall eyed, then it became lazy eye and now doctor’s operate for cosmetic reasons and appear to be unaware that eye training is brain training and that is the best alternative for centering the eyes.
At camp I learned to read my environment, make friends and blaze trails. It was at this time that we learned how to create trail markers that others could follow and we could see to find our way back to our starting point. The history of the word blaze comes from ancient times when the two leggeds discovered fire and could start with a spark and end up with a big blaze. Others would see the smoke and this began to unite people out of curiosity.
It is very simple to blaze a trail with signs using stones. Pile three flat stone on top of each other that means go straight ahead. Pile the 2 stones and put one to the left. That means take the path to the left or I have turned left. Likewise for the right. By blazing a trail, others can find us and we are able to return to our starting point without undue frustration and the chance of being lost.
I learned about myself and what I was capable of doing because I listened, looked around and learned. When we use the triple L approach we are capable of finding our way, retuning to our starting point when necessary and then moving on. I spent 4 weeks each summer for 8 summers at Four –H camp and another 3 summers at church camp. A couple of those summers I was a counselor but that’s another story. One summer was spent traveling across the United States with my parents and sister but that’s another story too. Wow! The experiences that prepared me to blaze many trails started in third grade!
Now it’s your turn. Go back to who you were in third grade. What did you listen to? What did you look around and see? And what did you learn? What trails have you already blazed? And where are you going? Now find your way back to a starting point, clear your mind and enjoy who you are. Start piling your stones and blaze YOUR trail.
P.S. This stone pile grew in size because it was considered good luck to add another stone when one went by.