“There’s no way I can do it. Mr. Rieger, you just take a picture when you get to the top and you can show me when you get down,” ~Bonnie Brae Resident, Matt.
Matt said these words to me, his peers and several other staff members on last year’s trip. You see, Matt wasn’t physically fit and had not thought he could hike to the top of the mountain, at Forest Lake Camp, to see the incredible view. We spent three days encouraging him, telling him he could do it. Finally, on day four, he decided that as long as we helped him, he would give it a try. It wasn’t easy for Matt, and there was definitely some complaining along the way, but with the help of his peers, he made it to the top where he was rewarded with seeing something he never thought he would see, and doing something he never thought he could do. I was rewarded with an incredible smile. He will never forget that moment, and neither will those of us that helped him achieve it.
Failure is a common denominator for most of the boys that come to Bonnie Brae. The reality is that they have “failed” repeatedly, and have been failed by others. But what does success look like? For most of us it’s a good job, a happy and healthy family, and stability. Success looks very different for a Bonnie Brae boy, and is often comprised of many small victories: “I didn’t get in trouble today;” “I finally trusted someone and they didn’t let me down;” “I learned how to make a meal for myself and it was delicious.” For us, success is these young men stringing together small victories every day, and having the confidence in themselves to build upon them. Success is Matt making it to the top of the mountain.
- $1,000: Sponsors the ENTIRE TRIP for one Bonnie Brae boy to go on the Conscious Kids Summer Expedition for an incredible week
- $500: Helps pay for the weekly rental of a cabin at the campsite
- $150: Helps to provide meals for the week, including roasting marshmallows by the campfire
- $85: Helps to provide horseback riding lessons for one boy for the week
- $30: Purchases fishing supplies, bait and equipment for a Bonnie Brae boy to catch the “Big One!”