The Buford Foundation brings together youth from the Omaha area… youth that would’ve never known each other otherwise and implants them in the beautiful, amazing and challenging wilderness of Wyoming. It very much impacted who I am today. I firmly believe that and tell people all the time. It’s one of the best memories I have from my junior high years.
I was always a determined kid. If someone told me I couldn’t do something, I was bound to prove them wrong. I was a happy girl and successful in many regards. Although I was a rock star student, involved in lots of extracurricular activities, had a solid family unit, and had lots of friends… I had insecurities. Even though I went to a great school, kids weren’t always nice to me, some might say I was bullied. I kept it quiet. I didn’t tell my parents. It was painful, so why would I want anyone else to know.
Going to Camp Confidence, and specifically having Pat Schoeller as my camp director, was one of the best things that could’ve happened to me. Pat challenged me. He taught me to challenge myself, despite obstacles in my way. He kinda poked fun at me at times… but he asked one day, “Do you know why I give you a hard time, Sarah? It’s because I know you can handle it.” That really resonated with me. I always had been able to handle adversity and I realized that adversity didn’t have to get me down. I was bigger than that. I’m proud to say he has been a friend ever since!