Giving Thanks

Gratitude – by Jeannie Fleming-Gifford

It is here. It is the time of year when we are expected to take a deep breath and stop and consider why we are thankful. Why are YOU thankful?

I, like many, will pause and reflect on my health, my family, the fact that I have a safe place to dwell, food on my table and my freedom to worship as I choose and to speak my mind freely.

As a mother, I easily turn my thoughts to my 9-year old daughter as well.

Raising a child is certainly an adventure that, most days, we are grateful for. The ability to see the world through new, energized, optimistic eyes…the ability to know that our child may further impact the good work in the world which each of us sets out to do.  These things make parenting a wonderful, tiring, awesome, enthralling adventure.

As we delve into the holidays and the darkness of winter and cold that often accompanies these days, it is with fondness that I remember my gratitude for experiences like Runoia and its significance on my daughter and the other girls who find a second home in Belgrade Lakes, ME, each summer.

For 7 magical weeks of summer, there is a place where girls can go and be surrounded with the good of the world that will only make them grow stronger, supporting them in becoming the best people which they can be. Rich in the tradition and history of its camp founders, Miss Weiser and Miss Pond, Runoia provides the support, respect and confidence needed for girls to develop and grow strong.

There are abundant opportunities for girls to take risks – to take flight – from water skiing for the first time to archery to overnight excursions. There is independence within a safe, supportive setting.  There are caring adults ensuring physical health. There are ample opportunities for physical explorations which promote health and wellness. And food? There are fresh vegetables and fruit, sprinkled with the sweetness of birthday cake which is delivered with song and smiles.

As the sun sets on each day of opportunity, there is time for reflection as girls connect about the day’s successes and those things which they will strive for again tomorrow. And as darkness falls, there is calm and quiet – except for the loons. As good nights are said and cabin lights dim, there is always a presence of gratitude.

Runoia is place which exudes gratitude for life.

Wishing you and yours a blessed day of thankfulness.