Dear Adventure In Adventure Out Staff and Clients,
I heard recently that the shortest distance between two people is a story. If this is true, then what must make community is the intersection of layers upon layers of stories that draw people closely together. Over the last eight years, AIAO has been that point of intersection for me. Be it the very first expedition I led for AIAO seven years ago (Hey, Camp Ramah Niv ’11!), getting my feet wet (figuratively and literally) roaming the woods of Western Massachusetts with the AIAO outing club, or collaborating with an amazing group of people to send 140 college students off into the woods for three days, each memory has built upon the other to teach me something about who I am, what I value and how I want to be in the world.
As I step out into new adventures, I realize there is a gift I am carrying with me. One that you all have given me. It is the gift of understanding how our stories can create meaning that matters. That when we share our stories… courageously, vulnerably… we offer up strength to ourselves and to others. It is being witnessed in our stories that allow us to see our own capacity, individually and collectively. To see that we are significant in the world around us. And, as each of you have offered me the gift of your stories, of who you are and what you have been through to get here, it has buoyed me in my courage to rise to the occasion of my own story. This is the magic we have created together, and the gift you have given me as my community.
So thank you. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your story, and for choosing to be a part of mine. Thank you for eight unforgettable years of meaning making. And, thank you to our director, James, for believing in me all those years ago when I first knocked on his door. I will carry the love, laughter, memories and learnings for the rest of my life. And, I will be cheering you all on as you continue to change lives with your own brand of magic!
With great love and gratitude!