Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do,┬áit comes by overcoming the things you thought you couldn’t”

If there’s a group of people who know a thing or two about what it’s like to be passionate about something, it’s our incredible Walden community. Walden is a place that has endless amounts of passion – for this summer home we love, for each other, and for the culture we work so hard to create. This summer we asked ourselves: how can we grow, both as individuals and as a community? How can we inspire each other to go the distance for the things we’re passionate about? How can we stay motivated to stick with things when they are difficult?

Both children and adults need grit to succeed – to push past initial failures, work hard at the things we’re not instantly good at, and to eventually find success. Where better to grow grit than here at Walden, where we are constantly trying new things? Camp is an incredible opportunity to open ourselves up to new experiences, whether that’s sleeping away from home, making new friends, or trying so many different things for the first time. We want to motivate our campers and staff to maximize the short time we get to spend here with one another, by constantly pushing ourselves to be better. To be kind. To be brave. To be strong. Grit encompasses all of these traits, but in order to gain grit you have to decide what is important to you and pursue it above all else.

This summer, like every summer, we wanted to help our campers and staff grow their grit by encouraging each member of our Walden community to set goals for their time at camp. The difference this time around was that we knew that it would take a little something extra to make those goals a reality, and to continue to grow after the fact. So with grit on our minds we spread the message to all of camp, posing the question “Got Grit?” The overwhelming response from our campers and staff was that they were eager to gain grit, and as a result were able to learn more about what that means. Grit takes work. Grit means that you might have to take a step or two outside of your comfort zone, but the result of that risk is worth it. Grit, and the passion and perseverance it takes are now important pieces of our Walden culture.

We feel so lucky that Walden is home for the many campers and staff who arrive each summer eager to nurture friendships, achieve their goals, and to just let loose and have fun doing whatever it is they love to do. Camp is special for all of these reasons, but above all, it’s a place where we can make the most of these moments in order to become stronger, better versions of ourselves. Each summer that we share here at Walden, away from the pressures of our everyday lives, we are able to take the most vulnerable parts of ourselves and turn them into our very best characteristics. This takes hard work and a whole lot of grit, but it means that we leave camp each summer with a newfound sense of strength and confidence that we always knew we had, but were never quite sure how to grow on our own.

Our challenge to our Walden family now is to take this “Got Grit?” attitude back home, and to strive to have grit and infuse passion and perseverance into all that we do. We encourage campers, staff, and families to share this message, to live it proudly and know that by working hard on the things we are passionate about we will grow grit and persevere.

We feel so fortunate for the extraordinary people that call Camp Walden home. Thank you so much for the love, kindness, enthusiasm and spirit you all bring to this magical place.

With love from Mark and me,