What our leaders said about Bradley

Bradley took incredible advantage of the time he was with us and grew profoundly during these 3 weeks. We truly enjoyed having him on the program. Bradley began his Deer Hill journey with an unsettling experience. He is not a strong swimmer, and on his first full day he panicked while swimming in the pond and had to be helped by an instructor.  Although he was physically fine, he was visibly shaken and emotional. The way Bradley handled this experience is testament to his perseverance and determination: he got back in the pond that very day, and then jumped into his river trip wholeheartedly. This kind of positive attitude, willingness to try new things, and adaptability is representative of Bradley’s exceptional performance on this program.

Bradley’s peers continuously pointed out his strong work ethic and were impressed by his ability to stay on task, especially during our service project  at Navajo and in his leadershi p of his tarp group in the mountains. Bradley truly shined during service, working unrelentingly to build the lambing shelter we were building for our elderly host. One of the group honored Bradley during Circle by calling him a “role model” for the group.  Bradley’s contributions during Circle and revealed his maturity, thoughtfulness, and insightfulness. He was thinking deeply about, and gaining much from, his Deer Hill experience.  By the end of the course, the whole group was listening intently to what Bradley had to say.

A letter from Bradley

I’ve grown and changed in many different ways coming on this course. I’ve learned to acknowledge what’s important. I used to be irresponsible. Now I’m different, I’m becoming an independent young adult. I watch over my brother and sister, making sure they have all they need. I have started to understand the importance of responsibility, leadership, and trust.

Let me tell you who Bradley is. I am an older brother that does all he can for his younger siblings. I am there for my mother , and I am someone that wishes his father would want to be more connected with his family. I don’t know what it’s like not to grow up in Bushwick, since that is all I know. But growing up there was hard. I took a different path than most of my friends and even my own family. I am continuing on through high school , despite the stresses.

My goal for this trip was to be a leader. I’ve been part of many sports teams and never wanted to be a leader because I was afraid I might  do something wrong. I wanted to put myself out there and prove that I could do it. It felt so good to be able to just try and succeed. To have my group trust me was incredible.  Getting my tasks done on time earne d me the privilege of being “Leader of the Day”. I was responsible for everyone getting what they had to do finished on time. It felt good to do this, and now I think I will always be a leader. On this trip I’ve learned that hard work, finishing what you start, and consideration always benefits you in the end.  Now, at home, I get everything done before I am even asked. I sometimes find myself helping out as much as I can, even if I’m tired. I just love being able to help people out. Before this trip I’ve only been away from home on a camp for three nights. This trip was the greatest  experience of my entire life. I’ve never been so happy for so long the way I was with Deer Hill. I would do another year on this trip without even second guessing my decision. Words can’t describe my appreciation for the opportunity I was given.