We all know the story. A warrior is born. No one knows their name. Sometimes you don’t even know where they came from. They are scrawny, dirty, nothing to look at. Then they do something, something small, and you see their spirit shine through. It builds and builds. They do the hard stuff, they fight and they scrap and they build themselves up from the bottom. They mold themselves into something stronger. These are the people who change the world. These are the stories we read about, the movies we watch. These are the girls and staff at E-Nini-Hassee.
At the Camp Site working with hand tools
For the start of the new year, ENH has chosen to focus on becoming warriors. The focus includes improving the body, the mind, and the spirit.
On a typical day you can find the girls doing push-ups or modified push-ups (we don't dare call them girl push-ups around here), squats, and crunches to build up their physical strength. You can see a group doing yoga under some pine tree, and hear the sounds of a game of kickball. You might find them sawing down trees to use to build a primitive structure. You might see a group moving a 15 foot log to help with the project. It is likely you will hear them cheering each other on when a piece of the shelter is completed.
On other days you can find the girls discussing their values. Maybe you’d walk up on a team building game. You might see the youth sitting in a circle, talking about trauma, politics, anger, families… whatever comes up during the day. You might find them hammering a bracelet with a value word, a reminder when times get tough. On weekends you can find them carrying their warrior plaques to epic game time, screaming their new chants. They’ve just come from chapel where they discuss a topic that’s important to them. You will definitely see them doing some sort of work to help the community. Whether it is building the cabin, setting a table for another group, cleaning up a community area, or gardening, a part of everyday is spent giving to others.
Every day, you’ll find them learning. Every day girls are reading and talking about books. They are learning how to square a structure. They help each other learn fractions. They constantly are looking around the natural world for something to show during science class. They debate topics such as “what is forgiveness?”, “are our lives determined by nature, or does nurture play a part?”, “what messages are being put into our lives by the media?” They learn about leadership, faith, and communication. These young women want to know the world.
So why would I compare these high achieving, thoughtful, productive young women to the classic warrior? Well, they may have started out from somewhere hard. Most have lived in fear, resentment, anger, or lies. Some were close to dropping out of school. All had something to overcome. All are working every single day to let their values shine through. All are taking risks to try something new, to be more vulnerable, to be stronger. They are warriors. They are rising up. They are the new generation of women. They are ENH.
It is always about the journey...