Friday, September 5, 2008


Camp Kostopulos is located up emigration canyon, just past Ruth's Diner. It has been there for over thirty years, and is a place for kids, teens, and adults of all abilities to go have a "camp" experience. I first came to know it as the place my church held its "vacation bible camp." our church rented the facility and used "camp K" staff and amenities in the mornings, and did its own program on the grounds during the afternoons.
There is a pond for fishing, a pool for swimming, a barnyard full of animals, horses for riding, and a ropes course for building trust and relationship. there is a lodge for indoor gatherings, and apparently sleeping facilities for the overnight campers and staff.
Yesterday as I rode up the canyon I noticed parking signs for the "united way day of caring" at camp kostopulos. the lots were full of cars, trucks, and two buses, and I could see people in bright yellow tee shirts working away within the camp grounds. having now done a little bit of research, I see that this was an organized effort of our United Way to do an improvement project for a local non-profit.
I've written before about what moves me: camp K moves me, as I think about all the people who benefit from its existence, both those with disabilities and those without. this is close to home for me, being a parent of a child with many special needs. I think my reactions would be different if I didn't have my son, and hadn't been through all that we have. but the reactions would be just different, not nonexistent. people with special needs and those who work with them all tug at my heart, and I'm sure this would happen whether or not I had my son. but because I do have jake, the tug is just a little more intense, a little brighter and stronger. and the tears are just a little closer to the surface.
I don't know what physical work was actually being done by all those people at camp K yesterday. but I know the emotional and spiritual work. these people were donating time, effort, and generosity of spirit with their presence. and whether they signed up as individuals, or were in some manner coerced by an employer into going, I know that they could not have been there giving of their physical bodies without somehow giving of their spiritual side. we all have this humanity within us that understands the gift to ourselves of giving to those who are seemingly (at least in a physical aspect) less fortunate.
our world is full of good souls.
as much hate, violence, war, and crime that exist, there are myriad examples of human beings giving of themselves. these all touch me, and reaffirm my faith in us all.
these are difficult things to put into words without sounding trite. for me, the philosophy of which I am trying to speak is very simple: we are all connected, and part of our reason for being is to be of service to others. in great ways, and in small ways. in authentic ways.

I leave this afternoon for logan, and the Really Big Ride is tomorrow. I will get on my bike and ride 206 miles and my riding will benefit no one but myself, at least in the short run. but hopefully, my determination, commitment, and completion of this ride will help me strengthen my own spiritual self. and the stronger my spiritual self, the more I have to give.
and the more I have to give, the better the world, if only by one iota.

your iotas plus my iota can re-landscape our world.

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