“I’ve been here before!”

Within seconds of walking into the YFC Adventure Center he looked at me and said “I’ve been here before! There’s a basketball gym down that hallway, right?” I told him he was correct and asked about his prior visit. The story he shared with me was so encouraging it left me smiling for hours.

Eric had arrived that morning with his service team from AmeriCorps. For the past several years we have partnered with AmeriCorps to provide them with intense leadership training exercises. On this day, we would be utilizing the high ropes course that stands 43’ above the ground.

As Eric fixed his coffee to his liking he told me his story. He had visited this same place a few years ago when his high school class came for a field trip. “We came here for that program where you talk about real stuff and you get to be honest with your classmates” he said. Was it called Point Break I asked? After a resounding “Yes!” I asked him what he remembered from that experience which took place over two years ago. Eric described in detail the main teaching sessions that covered topics like The Power of Our Words and The Need to Positively Connect with Others. He then started laughing as he recalled the group games we played that involved prunes and baby food. He turned serious again as he recounted each of the reconciliations that took place. He remembered his classmates tears and emotions as they broke down walls between one another. He beautifully described a story of two brothers that had been at odds for years but on that day they made the choice to reconcile. Surrounded by their peers these twins with tears flowing embraced one another for the first time in years. The basketball gym erupted in applause. I remember fighting to hold back my own tears.

As we finished our coffee and headed out to the ropes course with the rest of the group he looked over at me and said, “I’ll never forget that day”.

As I write this, there are currently 64 students in that same basketball gym experiencing Point Break today. They’re from Eric’s former high school.

-Steve Prettyman

*Names have been changed