Paddle for Kids - ACA Fundraiser
In September and October, I will be Paddleboarding the entire Mississippi River. From Lake Itasca, to the Gulf of Mexico. My Journey will take over 50 days.
Why? I am doing this to raise money for the American Camp Association, in order to send kids to over 2,400 ACA-accredited camps around the nation, serving over 7.2 million children.
------- MY STORY -------
For three summers, from 2010-2012, I worked as a Camp Counselor at one of the top ACA Camps in the nation.
Not only was I a Camp Counselor, but I also worked as a Wilderness Instructor, Trip Director, Barn Director, and was an Instructor for Canoe & Kayak, Rifle, Archery, Horseback, and Climbing. I’ve seen every aspect of camp, from outside to inside, from the youngest rugrats to the older high-schoolers.
Over the years, I helped kids grow through what we called "Personal Growth and Development”. At the beginning of the week, you would have thousands of kids who trusted you, and looked to you for your guidance - and it’s amazing how much progress these kids made in just one week. Some of the kids would even stay for the entire summer.
Alongside my passion for working with kids, comes my passion for being on the river. Being from Minnesota, I have always wanted to journey the entire Mississippi. The opportunity has arrived, and I cannot do it selfishly, which is why I’ve set up this fundraiser to give 100% of the donations to the American Camp Association.
What we are doing is creating opportunities for kids & opening doors which would normally be locked.
We are guiding them out the door on a new journey. Not only do you need to unlock that door, but you need to show that kid where to go when he steps through it. ACA is the exact catalyst to help guide them to where they will go next. It’s so much more than just camp. The counselors and directors of these camps become life coaches and permanent role models for every child that attends an ACA Camp.
It’s amazing when you get a kid to come to camp, and watch them from Day 1. On Day 1, they come in shy and bashful, but by the time they leave they’ve discovered themselves completely, by learning new hobbies, meeting new friends, and acquiring new skills. ACA Camps are perfect for the future of these kids.
If you look at the person next to you, it doesn’t matter where they came from. The great benefit of ACA Camps, is that every kid is put on an even playing field.
I see it this way, I get to fulfill one of my dreams, so why shouldn’t I provide the opportunity for someone else to fulfill their dreams?
Those kids are out there, and your donations will greatly help them reach their goals.
Hi Dan. It was a pleasure meeting you Saturday on 09/30/2017 at Cliff Cave Park in St. Louis, County. You are an inspiration to all of us. Good luck with your journey. Thoughts and prayers will be with you. Shirley and Jim Jaeger/St. Louis, MO