Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Success is Up to You.

Everyone has experiences that change who they are, the way they see things and the way they want to live their lives. Anyone who has attended Legion Leadership Training Camp says those 10 days are one of those times--I agree.

A whole group of campers loaded onto one couch on the last night.

As a recent camper, I am under obligation not to share specific details about what activities went on at camp because of the chance of a future camper reading it and ruining their experiences at the camp. 
Personally, I learned more about myself in the last 10 days than I have in the past 16.5 years. As a group of around 63 campers, we were challenged to work together, step way out of our comfort zones and learn time management and how important preparation is. 
We were separated into 4 groups and through twists and turns we all had to work together and overcome our differences to earn applause and recognition from those around us.
When I first applied for the camp I thought nothing of it, but as soon as my acceptance letter came I got nervous, excited, but very nervous. I didn't know what to expect and believe me it's not what I expected, it was way more. I learned so much and met so many amazing friends I will never forget.

New and old friends.

We worked long nights and had long days, sleep was low on the priority list when there was so much to be accomplished and without the help and encouragement of other campers things would have been much more difficult. No one minded lending a helping hand no matter what your struggle was because everyone had different strengths. I know I wouldn't have gotten through some of my speeches without the help of my newfound friends. 

New found friendships.

It was a roller coaster, the last 10 days, but it was the best roller coaster I have ever been on! The experience of LLTC is irreplaceable and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
There were tears shed and words said through the tough times, but we overcame as one big new family. We worked together so well and when the staff of LLTC threw whatever they could on our paths to see how well we would overcome, as 63 grade 11 and 12 students, we did it. We made it and we graduated together. 
A song that I'm sure anyone you talked to who attended the 50th anniversary year of LLTC would say meant a lot to them would be I won't give up by Jason Mraz, we sang and danced and grew closer as a group through this song. I strongly suggest you take 4 minutes to listen to what the lyrics say.

Green Girls, we started and ended the 10 days together. We worked together through our differences and opinions and we all learned the importance of when to lead and when to follow and we got through the middle of the week and over the hump. We learned so much and I will miss every single one of you. 

One last lesson that seemed we all seem to hold close to our lives would be the meaning of "thats a good question". We learned to problem solve and how to figure out answers on our own. Without much guidance and answers through the week we learned how to lead ourselves and find the answers through our peers and within ourselves.

Lastly, I'd like to thank all of the staff. Although we sometimes got frustrated and annoyed with you, whether it was because we never got a straight answer or any positive feedback we all understand now that the things you did were helping us and now it is completely obvious that they shaped us and made us the changed leaders we are today. The Legion Leadership Training Camp experience helped me step out of my comfort zone in a million different directions and in ways I never thought possible, It gave me a new perspective on ways to live and ways to help and lead others around me and it showed me more important things in my life, than those I thought more important prior to LLTC.

Certificate of Achievement

We heard the statement "I will leave you with a quote" more than once over the 10 days we spent at NSAC in Truro, but here it is one more time.

"It's time for me to stop being so afraid. It's time for me to let go of the past. What happened, happened. It doesn't matter how many times I go over it in my head, think about what I should've done. It's too late. It's not going to change anything. I can't change the past, but I can better shape my future" -Unknown

Post written by Anna Jamieson

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dreams, Dresses and Haskap Berries?

Oh the joy of June as thoughts turn to the end of the school year, preparations of prom and graduation, processing the bountiful harvest of strawberries and anticipating vacation at the lake with lots of books, day trips and playing with the grandchildren.
Sarah, our fourth beautiful daughter, completed her 13 years of public school and graduated with honours on June 27. It was a special night and we are so proud of her. Her only grandparent (Grampie N.) made the long trek from Yarmouth to be a part of this and she really appreciated the effort that it took for him to be here. I know it meant a lot to her to share this special time with him. It seems as we get older, time marches on just a wee bit faster and we try to create memories that will last a lifetime for our children. I have paused this month to reflect back on Sarah's life and how she has matured into an amazing, smart woman, who has the potential to be and do anything she wishes. Her dream for the last couple of years is to pursue policing and we are not sure where that will lead, but she will be starting along that path this fall at St. Mary's University, enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Criminology degree.
As she journeys into this next phase of her life, my prayer for her would be that she remains strong in her values and morals and stay true to herself and  to the One who created her. Here are a few pictures of prom night and graduation.

Sarah and her boyfriend, Tanner, before the prom. So lovely.

Funny moment - probably after Tanner had to change his navy socks to black ones.

Three of our five beautiful daughters - such awesome girls. 

Cousins, both born in March, graduating together.

Friends in the Irving Centre - Sarah's dress was very outstanding.

Waiting for the walk across the stage to officially finish grade 12.

Accepting her diploma.

Receiving her scholarship from St. Mary's University.

Three generations - proud of our girl.

On a kitchen note - Andrew has been supplying me with the annual harvest of strawberries and we are all enjoying the new variety 'Laurel' that he named this spring. The jam production is going strong with 7 batches done and in the freezer. In December we certainly love the taste of summer we are putting away now. Today Andrew and I ventured up to the research station to do some grape work (he hasn't had Canada Day weekend off since he began work here 30 years ago!!). He then wanted to show me some haskap berries (this link will give you a bit of information on them) that they are experimenting with. There seemed to be a lot of berries ready to pick, so I suggested we do a batch of jam. After some tedious picking we managed to get enough for a batch and voila - delicious jam. It wasn't the coolest night of the year to make jam, but again, it will taste yummy in the middle of January on a piece of toast.

Our pan full of haskap berries.

And voila! Very tasty and rich coloured haskap jam. So delicious!

And I'm not sure what to say about these.

Today, we picked up Anna in Truro, where she spent the last 10 days involved in a leadership camp sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion. I am hoping to talk her into doing a guest blog for me after she gets some rest and debriefs a bit. She is a very tired but changed girl.