What makes you angry?
That’s a heavy question for anyone to answer, let alone a group of young teenagers who’re learning to deal with a multitude of other emotions. It’s also what Josh Cooey, the Tuscarora tribal leader, led off with when the boys in his tribe met for a special campfire talk during evening program this week.
While in normal situations, boys of this age might scoff at the idea of publicly discussing their emotions—Falling Creek is different. These young men, many of whom have been campers here for a number of years, understand that these campfire talks offer a unique opportunity to open up and have a meaningful conversation. Among the answers to the initial questions were feelings like disrespect, confusion, and loss.
The next question asked campers what specific responses they have when they’re angry. The physical symptoms were brought up: the throat-tightening, heart-pumping gut reaction that everybody loathes. Also discussed were the different kinds of anger one can feel, from the kind that makes you want to go and cry, to the type that makes you want to hit someone.
Another common theme to the campers’ responses was control over their anger. One boy said he gets nervous as to whether or not he’ll be able to keep from boiling over. Another said he feels embarrassed with himself when his angry reactions are seen by others, and that it rarely feels worth it when you “pop.” A camper opened up about one time he let his emotions get the best of him and did something impulsive and damaging, and how sorely he regretted his actions afterward.
The Tuscarora boys responded with wisdom beyond their years when asked how they turn their anger into something positive. Answers included playing sports, hanging out with friends, laughing along with whatever made them angry, and trying to put themselves in others’ shoes. All agreed that coming to terms with their emotions was vital, as you can’t make forward progress in dealing with feelings until you affirm them as legitimate. Program director Kyle Jefferies summed it up well: dealing with anger pushes you forward as a person.
Kyle ended the talk with some advice. He said that men have to come to terms with being filled with emotion, and that many of these, such as jealousy and embarrassment, can turn to anger if not dealt with in a healthy manner. The boys would benefit from learning to make peace with it as early as possible with so many roads converging to anger if left unattended. His parting words offer something for everybody, young or old: become comfortable with apologizing—to yourself, and to others.
It was truly special to see these young men so comfortable with each other that they were able to approach a subject as complex as anger. It’s so rare for boys to be able, let alone encouraged, to open up and show the vulnerability that was on display at the Tuscarora tribal ring. This is just one example of how the unique environment here at Falling Creek helps these boys learn and mature in ways they would never have thought possible.
Some highlights from this Saturday:
- Enjoyed 1 extra hour of sleep awaking to another beautiful crisp and clear morning. So blessed to have multiple days of cooler weather hitting the 50’s at night and staying in the mid 70’s during the day.
- Tournament Saturday offered many opportunities for fun:
Basketball – 5 teams made up of a wide range of ages were coached by some awesome counselors. Frank and Jake’s teams will play in the final game during the afternoon activities tomorrow.
Indoor Soccer – “Scuba’s Strikers” emerged victorious in the final game
Pickleball – Edward and Jonah narrowly fell to Matthew & Blaze in a fun, close match.
Foosball – Trip and Rusty combined forces to win the championship game.
Chess – This group of thinkers will have to continue their games tomorrow afternoon during free choice. Looking forward to see who will survive.
Magic – Sketch organized a 2-headed dragon tournament where Hudson and Wesley showed them all some amazing strategic thinking to take the final match.
- Ham Mandell achieved Ranger level in Blacksmithing
- The boys were thrilled to learn at lunch that the all-camp game after rest hour would be the most famous and well-liked game in FCC history – “Wild, Wild, West”
- Supper was a huge hit and included homemade chicken and dumplings, mixed vegetables, warm biscuit, huge salad bar, and chef David’s Peach Cobbler for desert.
We’re looking forward to the more relaxed pace during our final Sunday of the session tomorrow. Behold!