A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about youth

List It Out.

Turn on your brain and your heart

overcast 65 °F

In Massachusetts one of the biggest and most important roles I fulfilled was "Advisor" to the Outdoor Wilderness Leader youth group. The "OWLs". Now this goes way further back than just a handful of years. To best paint this picture you first need to understand a little bit of where I come from.


Wilderness Experiences Unlimited

This was and continues to be more than my families business. It is our lifestyle. It represents passion, challenge, dreams, fulfillment, stress, growth, change, constancy, and so much more. I was lucky enough to grow up immersed in adventure sports. Skiing at two, rock-climbing at three, riding on the back of my dads training bike at ten months....I was scuba certified at the age of 12.....with my grandfather who was 75. My dad and I went sky-diving on the day of my senior prom because it made no sense to me to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress when you could jump out a plane instead. Mom and I have led groups of divers to Australia, Egypt and the Philippines. As a family, I have to say we're an ass-kicking trio. Anyways.


A big part of our business was and continues to be the youth group. Founded on the belief that Mother Earth needs our youth to stand up for what is right, and use their voices to speak for those that don't have voices of their own. Environmental education and value clarification were keystone.

As a toddler, I was the OWL 'Mascot'. Climbing underneath chairs, sitting on laps and getting piggy-backs from teens of the 80s. As a little kiddo the OWLs and Summer Camp staff were my biggest and most crucial role models, and continue to be with their accomplishments to this very day. As I got older and took on more responsibility the groups of kids brought me genuine hope for the future. Teens embracing one another for their differences, being passionate about protecting the natural world and being able to "unplug" for days at a time to sleep close to the earth.

The OWLs are my little brothers and sisters. And distance hasn't changed it. I love the letters, email updates and phone calls I still get....mostly when high-school drama strikes again and a listening ear is needed. I've even grown used to the SOOO high-school snap chats. (Do I really need to see a picture of your teacher drawing on the white board? No. But I love you anyway ; P )


101 Background Complete.

Now. 'List It Out'

(*You'll want a scrap piece of paper and a pen)

Often in OWLs, activities were meant to challenge your mind and encourage you to look within.
Self-awareness and Self-confidence makes for some strong, devoted and incredible leaders. This is an activity that we would do every year, and I want to share it with whoever is still reading this damn thing.

1. On your paper create the following headings.

3 Pivitol People

3 short-term goals (6 months)

3 mid-term goals (2 years)

3 long-term goals (5 years+)

3 Defining Moments

2 Things I Love About Myself

2 Things I Am Working On Within Myself

If I could give one sentence of advice it would be......

2. Spend some real time on each topic. Reflect on the past year of your life and project forward. What you accomplished? Where you've been? What made you soar? When did you stumble? How did you get up from those stumbles? Who has made an impact on your heart along the way? Then thoughtfully fill in the blanks.

3. When you are done, envelope it, date it and stash it somewhere safe. Repeat next year ; )

It is amazing to look at these over time. I have a handful of these dating back over 15 years. To see the personal growth, identify trends, and see how much so things change is so freakin' cool. It's never too late / you're never too old to spend some time taking a "Self-Inventory"


That's all I have to offer for a Throwback Thursday.

Take time to look back at yourself.

And so continues 2014...."The Year of Me"

Here's to peace, faith and working hard

Posted by AubreyJ 15:55 Archived in USA Tagged nature family youth introspection leadership growing_up self_reflection environmental_education Comments (0)

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