ANNUAL CAMPING TRIP AT BLISSFUL CABIN RETREAT 2020We had a very special and intimate Labor Day Weekend camping trip at the Blissful Cabin this year. We missed our usual big, beautiful and boisterous Blissful family taking part, and the robust energy that has filled the Blissful Cabin campgrounds every Labor Day weekend since it was created 8 years ago. However, we decided to adopt a “Starfish” mentality during these pandemic months.We seriously contemplated whether going forward with this year’s annual camping trip was really worth putting so much of our time and energy into considering the obstacles we faced (including a small volunteer team and limited funds), especially because it would not benefit as large a number of young individuals with disabilities as we usually do. However, we reflected on one of our favorite stories, and decided if we can make even one of our precious “kids” happy with our efforts, then it was worth it.
You probably already know the Starfish story, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. It’s a parable we have reflected on several times since this pandemic started for reassurance that our volunteerism and leadership via Blissful Bedrooms doesn’t necessarily have to be extravagant in order to have profound and far reaching significance in the world.
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions. Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.” The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)
The photos above exemplify some of the precious moments we enjoyed during our Labor Day Weekend Camping Trip with a few of the beloved starfish from the Blissful Bedrooms community
Now that summer has come to an end, our plan is to continue to liberate disabled youth from their bedrooms for weekend respites at the Blissful Cabin in the Catskills. We are happy and honored to volunteer our time and personal resources to do this, but we very much need the help of our supporters to sustain this initiative and grow it. The Blissful Cabin is in need of upgrades to make it an all season respite, and this current situation has surely led us to see that this should be a priority. More than ever, inner city disabled youth are in dire need of opportunities to escape to nature for both their physical and emotional well-being. It has never been more clear to us how necessary a respite in the woods is, and what a treasured gift this opportunity represents for inner city disabled youth and their families to have a place where they can retreat and recharge, especially during these times. A place where they can breathe, exercise, observe nature, play, make art, sing, dance, be celebrated, recalibrate, have novel experiences, dream big dreams and feel safe, valued and loved. Our vision is to manifest an all season sanctuary for young individuals with disabilities to enjoy mini-vacations, and we will do our best to affect as many special starfish as we can with the resources we attract. We only have a handful of weekends left where we can host our special guests before it will be too cold. That is why we must act fast. We need your help to do this and we hope you will agree it is a worthy endeavor and sensible direction to take.
If you are in a position to help with either a modest donation and/or to team up, please reach out. If you are moved by our perseverance and commitment to the mission of Blissful Bedrooms, and are inspired by the happiness portrayed in the photos, please make a contribution of any amount at the link below so we can keep on keeping on. We are truly thankful for any and all support!