Wow! What An Experience!
August 13, 2007
As you know by now, The Colts made finals in Pasadena. We took 11th on both Thursday and Friday, and ended up 10th in finals. Random thoughts: I'm writing this from Emporia, KS outside a nice Starbucks while the 24 kids and drivers who remain with the buses wander off foraging for food.
Last night and today on the way home, I achieved my personal goal of sleeping through at least two states, and after a couple of overheating problems in Arizona yesterday, we are all intact and about 9 hours from Dubuque. My driving shift is due now, so I'll b helping to finish the drive from here to Dubuque.
We dropped about 90 off at LA Airports overnight Sunday morning, around 3 am., and I understand they all got out before the LAX computer crash. They are all back at "real life" already, hopefully reflecting on a summer of great accomplishments and personal breakthroughs.
In our final meeting following finals, I emplored them to now take what they have become and apply it to life. They are the top 1% and they have the obligation to change their worlds. We discussed their obligations to themselves and their world and that they have a finite amount of time in this world to truly make a difference. We even discussed what it takes and steps to take now to become wealthy in a financial way too. Not because of the trips to Cancun they can take but because it's their responsibility to be able to do things for others. An emotional final circle of members, staff, parents and volunteers experienced the closure of what has been the most amazing Colts season ever.
Members, please don't lose track of each other and please work hard to apply what you learned to everything you do. Parents, you now have a different human being for a son or a daughter. Support them in their newly found power to acheive and give them space to find out where they fit in "in their other world". It is a difficult transformation. They have new habits, new beliefs and new abilities. Help them as they find their new place.
To all, thank you! We had dozens of well wishers send notes via email, and they were all posted for the corps to read. It made a tremendous difference to us all. Thank you! To parents who were there to see this amazing adventure first hand, can you take a minute to let me know what you thought, and if it so moves you, to let the Dubuque community know through a letter to the editor? The Telegragh Herald has a web site - thonline.com that has a link for letters.
Help me continue to provide this experience. Our community probably now knows about the "Top 10" - and that's great, but they don't always understand what we do in the process, that is frankly more important. Your help in this would be a tremendous boost. So, through the tears, the sweat, the frustration, the breakthroughs, the standing ovations, the long bus rides, the Two Ocean Tour, and all the challenges that entailed, we have arrived at the end of the journey together. It was a great one.
I get tears now thinking of that last run through and that standing ovation from 300 of you for a full minute before they were done playing. I get choked up thinking of how long it took the kids to let go when they were dismissed after finals. I get a chill when I think of that full stadium standing ovation from 30,000 in the Rose Bowl, I still get a warm feeling when I think of the things the age outs said about this experience on Saturday.
But I am most proud and emotionally charged when I think of all the kids, and many parents, who "got it" this summer. Some amazing leaders of the future have been launched into the world this summer, and the world will be a better place for it.
Thank you all for your part in making the 2007 Colts the ride it was for us all.
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