Bátor Tábor is a place where lives are transformed for the better. The lives of our campers, and of the volunteers. Been there, seen that. Trust me.
If you are having a bad day, help someone, it will make it better. This is my favorite quote from Paul Newman, the famous actor. He was not just an actor but a philanthrope, and as such he founded a global camp association (SeriousFun Children’s Network) to serve the needs of children living with serious illnesses – like cancer. Bátor Tábor in Hungary is one of these camps. I was there in August 2019 to spend a week with Polish children who fight cancer.
Bátor Tábor is a place where lives are transformed for the better. The lives of our campers, and of the volunteers.
Been there, seen that. Trust me.
For the campers the way to get to camp is – let’s be honest – not happy. Yet Bátor Tábor is full of joy and laughter and fun. Every day of their lives the campers face psychological and physical challenges. They fight for their lives basically which makes them so wise, so mature. They had to grow up too fast!
And then Bátor Tábor comes along to give them the week of their life. They can play, dance, challenge themselves. They can participate in various activities: horse-back riding, wall-climbing, canoeing, arts’n’crafts, parties, and many more. We – together with more than a hundred volunteers – ensure that for that one week they can be children again.
I collected a list of things that Bátor Tábor taught to me. It teaches much more but I am afraid I would run out of ink and paper if I went into details.
- People are good.
People are generous, kind and they want to help. Although, sometimes they don’t know how. But if you show them the way you will see them flourish.
- We rise by lifting others.
A day without helping is a day wasted. Helping is addictive. If you see the reaction of the people whom you helped, the smile on their face, the spark in their eyes, you will want to experience it again. And again. And again. It’s a drug. The best kind.
- I cannot give more than what I receive.
Really. You go there to help, to give an amazing week to these superhero kids and then they change your life forever. By showing strength, persistence, and by overcoming their boundaries – that their illness set to them.
- I have zero problems.
If you see a child sitting on a horse who a minute before was sitting in a wheelchair – it changes your perspective on life forever. What was I whining about again? Money? That I didn’t get tickets to a concert? That I don’t have time? I don’t even remember. If you have health, you have everything.
- A smile goes a long way.
In camp we greet, encourage, show our appreciation, ask for a favor with a smile on our face. It makes people feel better. I try to preserve this in my everyday life: when I meet the grumpiest cashier, I try to greet them with a smile. That might be the only smile they get that day, but it can change their whole day.
Interested? Then search for Bátor Tábor, they have international programs, too.
Let them transform you!