SportsLeader is a virtue-based mentoring and motivation program for coaches. This blog shares stories from coaches all over the country transforming lives. For more information contact Lou Judd -

Monday, November 22, 2010

"The Most Fun "I've Ever Had"

I was privileged to be a part of another life-changing event over the weekend: A virtue camp with the Cincinnati Winton Woods High School wrestling team. 14 young men and 3 coaches. Most of them had never been camping before, never had a smore, never been fishing ...

They had been a part of a grueling scrimmage earlier in the day so they arrived pretty tired but still "full of life". We started off with building the bonfire that we would later enjoy once the temps got below 40 degrees. Then we showed some movie clips about virtues, played some dodgeball and talked to the boys about the journey of becoming a man. This is a special group of young men in that they still have that innocence of just having fun in whatever they do ... It was inspiring.

The campfire is always one of my favorite moments. We break out the smores and have story time. Helping a young man make his very first smore is a neat thing. These young men still have the humility to ask for help. As we get crusty and old us men think/want to do everything by ourselves and don't really like to ask for help ... not these young men. That was inspiring as well. After the smores the coaches and other men there share stories about their life.

At 6:15 AM Coach Willertz got them up for a good workout while Tim Gronotte and the 2 assistant coaches put the worms on the hooks for fishing afterwards. 30 minutes of jumping heavy rope and leg lifts will get the blood flowing ...

The morning was perfect ... cold, clear, mist coming off the lake, the fresh autumn scent ... the boys were loving it. By the time I clicked off this first fishing photo Tahji had caught his first fish on his fist cast. I don't think the worm was in the water for 10 seconds. It is truly difficult to describe that moment - the look on his face, the other guys screaming ...

Of course bringing 14 new "fishermen" has its more trying moments like when your cast ends up in a tree ...

We later went for a hike through the woods and down a dry creek to visit the Camp River Ridge office. 

What summed it up pretty well for me was when I was at breakfast and Devon tells me, "Coach Judd this is the most fun I've ever had. Thank you."

Afterwards I was reflecting on what a gift it is to be a part of a young man's "funnest moment". Thank you, Lord. To You be the Glory.

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