The New Year is here and the winter holidays have passed in a flash of friends, family, celebrations, cards, sledding, and too many sweets. On the night before saying goodbye to vacation to go back to work and my typical routine, I found a little time to sit down with my journal and reflect on the things I would like to achieve in the coming year. My list includes spending more time in nature, continuing to cultivate gratitude in my life, and making more time for reflection and peacefulness.

During our staff orientation we typically spend a fair amount of time setting “SMART Goals” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) for our work with our campers. Throughout the summer, counselors work with campers and Hante participants to help them achieve their goals – passing the swimming test, learning to ride a horse, getting over their fear of camping in the woods, being a good friend, etc. Year round, members of the fulltime staff at Eagle’s Nest Foundation work enthusiastically to help realize our mission: “experiential education for young people, promoting the natural world and the betterment of human character.” Goals help us grow.

As you head into the New Year, congratulate yourself for the past successes that you have had with your goals and growth. Small achievements need to be celebrated; even if you haven’t mastered archery, you’re probably a much better shot now for the work that you put into reaching that goal.

When you consider your goals for 2019, I hope that you’ll spend time thinking about how those goals will help not only you, but also those around you and your greater community. For example, if it’s feasible, set a goal to walk or ride your bike to school or work more frequently. As a result, you’ll get a little more exercise, spend more time outside, save some money, and reduce your carbon footprint while you’re at it. Or maybe you’ll want to set a goal to seek solutions to challenges rather than venting and complaining when things are not going your way. Who knows what great innovation your brainstorming might create!

I wish you all great luck in reaching many, many goals this year.

We would love to hear what goals our campers are setting this year too!  What do you have planned for 2019? Will your time at the Nest or on a Hante Adventure help you work toward your goal? Share your ambitions with your social network and the Eagle’s Nest community by tagging us on Facebook or Instagram, @eaglesnestcampnc and @hanteadventures.

By Paige Lester-Niles