For 11 seasons, students have come to Isaiah’s Run for a week of lessons. Our priorities have always been as follows:
1. safety first and foremost
2. enjoyment for all (which means respect for all)
3. improvement of skills on the water
Over the course of many years, teaching water sports and organizing the week’s activities – we began to notice that the experience of attending Isaiah’s Run was much more transformative for children than the simple skills they were learning.
Since we were training ourselves, we put best practices into place: goal setting, journaling, visualization practices, checking progress towards goals regularly. We quickly realized that we were not just improving these children’s abilities on the water, but we were actually making a positive difference in their lives.
There was a transformative power for these children from the time they set their goals on Sunday evening, to reviewing their progress each evening, and revising them appropriately. Usually the goals are checked off and more challenging ones set. Occasionally, someone realizes that the goal may not be reached in only 5 days and a more realistic goal is set.
And through this process, our students took control of their progress and felt the joy of controlling their own destiny. The foundation of these training practices can be used for any sort of goals or improvement in life. We often joke that this isn’t really “ski camp”, but instead, it’s “life camp.”
Not only did the goal setting have a positive impact, but also children were making lifelong friends simply through a shared passion. Some kept in touch and planned to attend together year after year. Some enjoyed meeting a whole new group of friends each year that they attended.
Not only did the goal setting make a difference, but simply finding friends with shared passions had a positive impact on lives. We all know that the teenage years can be a difficult time for anyone to find their own voice. With so much pressure to fit into a certain mold, it’s sometimes a challenge to have confidence in yourself. Whenever children have a passion such as skiing or wake boarding, and they have an alternative group of friends who are also passionate – it can help tremendously! Children see that there are lots of groups to be a part of, and lots of paths to choose in life, not just one that can “make or break” you.
As the years went on, we realized that the positive difference we witnessed did not come from simply learning to drop a ski, landing a first jump over the ramp, or running 28′ off in the slalom course….
but instead this personal power came from the confidence and positive self-image that was built authentically and from having a new set of friends with shared passions.
Personally, it has been a blessing to know that my humble offering of a “week at the lake” has changed so many lives for the better.
My passion is not simply for water sports, but to help children realize their full potential. I also enjoy time spent in nature engaging in other types of outdoor recreation – hiking, biking, paddling, swimming, camping, and others. I want to share this passion with others and keep making a positive difference in children’s lives. That’s why in 2018, we are introducing Nature Adventures. The Isaiah’s Run experience – except not limited to the water any longer!