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We kicked off the #summerofwaypoint last week with two kayaking programs in collaboration with the DCR Universal Access Program! The first group of the summer was the Charms Collaborative. We got to see both new and old faces, looking to challenge themselves through outdoor adventure.

Our focus this summer is #summerofwaypoint. What is a “waypoint” you ask? We define it as a “symbol on a map that marks a spot on a journey.” In life a waypoint is a lesson or something you learn about yourself or your experience. At the end of each program, we ask all participants to share their waypoint from the day. We challenge our participants to reflect on their experiences on our programs and think about how adventure helps them learn something about themselves. We will be placing all of the waypoints on a large map to track the experiences of our many participants throughout the summer.

Summer of Waypoint

With the Charms Collaborative, one of the biggest waypoints of the day came from a returning participant. During her first kayaking experience last year with Waypoint, she was very anxious. It took everything she had to just get in the boat. This year, however, with the encouragement from her teachers, friends, and Waypoint staff, she was able to not only get in the boat, but paddle, participate in group games, and be a role model for others who were nervous. During our closing circle when asked what her waypoint for the day was, she said:

“Last year I was terrified, but today I was fearless!”

We hope that she will remember this feeling of accomplishment and use it to persevere through future challenges. Thank you to Charms Collaborative for a great kickoff to summer 2016! We are looking forward to what the rest of the #summerofwaypoint will bring!

A student from Charms Collaborative shows her waypoint.
Another student from Charms Collaborative shows her waypoint: “Knowing that I’m a natural at kayaking even though it was my first time.”