What a Camper Taught Me Today

Posted July 8, 2015 by

By Josh Pierce, Chief Camp Officer

As I walked around our loud, crowded dining hall this evening, the most amazing thing happened. I sat down to talk with one of our second session campers who arrived last night. Her name is Sophie Kieffer, and she is an entering 8th grader, who is brilliant, and has the most amazing, bubbly, braces-filled smile on her face all the time.

In a humorous way, I rapidly threw a set of questions at her and without missing a beat she answered each one…How ya doin’ Sophie?… “Great!” You have fun today?…”Yep!”  Where ya from?… “Atlanta”. What do you want to be when you grow up?…”Happy!” – and suddenly the rest of the room fell silent. All I heard was that last word and the utter brilliance in her response… “Happy”.

Not “A Doctor” or “A Lawyer” or “Rich” or “The President of a Company”.

Just “Happy.”

After telling her that her response was the most amazing answer to that question that I had ever heard from anyone, let alone a 14 year old, I went back to my table and thought about it.

Here we are, teaching hundreds of teens how to find something they are passionate about and follow their dreams, with an ultimate goal of turning that dream into a successful business. But isn’t the true ultimate goal just to be happy? Isn’t that actually what we’re teaching here? We are teaching campers how to develop a unique set of skills that allow them to follow their dreams and do something that makes them happy.

I went back to my office, printed her quote on a piece of paper and pinned it to my door so I can see it every time I leave my office and walk out into camp.

Thank you, Sophie Kieffer, for this amazing perspective.