Matt has been through a lot in his short life, and prior to camp, had been in a live-in treatment facility because of the effects of trauma. This was his first year at camp, and due to the fact that he is 12, would be his only year, so he was determined to make the most of every opportunity there. He struggled with issues of self-esteem and would often resort to anger when he wasn’t able to perform in games or activities the way he wanted to.
Early in the week at camp, there is an honor code ceremony for all the boys. They learn about two character traits, this year being faith and resolution, and after attempting certain tasks, they earn a certificate and dog tags with those traits engraved on them. Matt proudly wore his every day.
The next day during the “Amazing Race”, Matt’s team got all the way to the second to last task. All the other teams gave up because they were tired and the time had expired, except for Matt. He wanted to finish the race no matter what. He and his counselor ran halfway across the camp to the last spot, the shaving cream hill, which was being cleaned up. Matt continued to run all way to the top of the hill, turned around like Rocky with his arms in the air triumphantly, and said, “I just wanted to finish the race because we learned how to have resolve and follow through with what you say you’re going to do.”