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These incredible girls are now 8th graders and we just finished our very last camp together as a group.

I am exhausted, emotionally and physically spent, but these weekends are so worth it.

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There are moments like bumper balls which are just pure fun and crazy.

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There’s dancing and eating junk food and laughing and spending every waking moment together as a unit; there’s serious team building and absolutely insane games and friendly competition.

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And then there’s moments of conversation. There’s learning to love your enemies and learning to be a “kindness bully” in those years when it’s oppressively hard to be yourself and be kind anywhere. There’s one-on-one interactions, chances to recognize in a kid some greatness that they haven’t caught in themselves yet. There’s tears because people are vulnerable and tears because I’m just so proud of how far these girls have come.

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So this year is progressing faster and faster, but I’m so glad to be able to slow down and grab onto these exceptional experiences. I’m thankful for the wit and wisdom and tenderness of each of these kids, and their strong desire to be seen. We all want that, but they are just more honest about it.

As I struggled with getting through my workday today, I am reminded of how small the price of exhaustion is.  I’m so sad already to see them go at the end of the year, but I know that these kids can move mountains. They’ll take the world by storm.