School Bells Ring Again

Today is the first day of school for students across Frederick County. 

We couldn’t help feeling a bit nostalgic today, here at ThorpeWood, for the friends that we spent our summer with.  We met, bonded, and shared memorable experiences with school age youth from Frederick County non-profits: YMCA, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and United Way’s Summer Serve program.  We met, bonded, and shared memorable experiences with college age, and graduate school age young adults as well.  We met, bonded, and shared memorable experiences with the parents, guardians, and adult friends of these kids – and these experiences defined our summer.  We feel so grateful to have shared these times together, and so we look back at the summer of 2013, with a touch of wistfulness.

We all know that each stage of life presents its own unique sets of choices and challenges – there are days of rain, and days of sunshine; but, the time of childhood and young adulthood, those can be particularly challenging.  Today, as our young friends head off to school, we know that they will take a bit of ThorpeWood with them.  Whether it is our shy friend, who had trouble trusting others and feeling confident, or the one that we saw really open up and gain self-confidence during our Equine Assisted Learning session.  We know that child will be influenced – if not during the day today, then at some point during their year – by the lessons they learned during that Saturday session.  Or the group of kids who learned a new skill during the fly fishing outing, and used it to great success.  Those kind of lessons stick with a youngster, and the memory of them are called upon when the going gets tough.  We take great pride in helping to support these kids, even when they are not here at ThorpeWood, but are out there living daily life.

We are also touched by memories of the adults who spent time here this summer.  Touched and inspired by their willingness to take an active part in the lives of children, and young adults.  Humbled by their recognition that we ALL need support and further need to recognize who in our lives provides that support, who cares about us, who wants to see us succeed. We heard so many great stories this summer from adults who had impactful moments during our Equine Assisted Learning sessions, where we partner with the horse who teaches us how to communicate more effectively so that we might develop more sound and more meaningful relationships.  For young people to see adults who are willing to open themselves up to new experiences – well, that is a powerful life teaching moment.  We know how fortunate our young friends are to be surrounded by such caring adults in their lives.

So, as the new school year starts, we just want to send a sincere “best wishes” to our extended ThorpeWood family – the kids, the parents, the teachers – for an outstanding year.  The opportunity to help shape young lives is one we take so seriously, and we are so honored to have spent our summer with you all.  Make it a year to remember!