What do you think most teenagers look forward to when they think of summer? A break from school, sleeping in, staying up late and lounging by the pool may be the activities that come to mind. But here at The Cabbage Patch, we have a very special group of teens who spend most of the year preparing to challenge themselves mentally, physically and spiritually with a 100 mile biking and camping trip on the C & O Canal Bike Trail!
Amazing things happen when young people leave their daily routine. Biking 100 miles definitely sets a standard for perseverance and motivation, but even the simple act of preparing a meal on a camp stove teaches enduring skills of teamwork and problem solving. The C & O adventure is one of the most remarkable examples of leaping outside the comfort zone, but The Cabbage Patch is there even at the first small step. Before the young people of The Patch are ready for a 100 mile trip, they have to start somewhere.
We recently met an eleven year old girl who got a bike two years ago for her birthday. Her grandfather tried to teach her how to ride it, then her mother, but she just couldn’t get the hang of it. Her grandmother was determined for her to learn this summer, so she registered her for Bike Day Camp at The Patch. The first day was rough, but at the end of the day she could pedal a few times before putting her foot down or losing her balance. We encouraged her to keep trying! By the end of the second day she was doing parking lot drills with the group, and at the end of the week she completed a 12 mile bike ride and crossed the Big 4 Bridge. Her grandmother called the following week to thank us for teaching her granddaughter how to ride. She also said that she appreciated seeing her finally get to use her two year old birthday present with the helmet she received at camp.
From little victories, big victories grow. Next time you set out to tackle something huge, just start like we do at The Patch-with little victories!