Vol. 19, No. 2 • May 2015

Remembering My First SaySo Survivor Weekend

by La'Sharron Davidson

SaySo Survivor weekend is a time for youth to build resiliency. Name it. Claim it. Use it. Share it. Everyone comes to camp and has a great time.

My first time there was the BEST! I had never been camping before and I'm a city girl, so that's saying something!

When I arrived we had to put our belongings in our cabin, make up our beds, and clean the cabin out. There were spiders and other little creatures. (I was freaking out--I never knew there were so many bugs in the world!)

After that I went to the cafeteria and joined other staff and youth with playing games and so forth. I learned that at SaySo Survivor we have a chance to go horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, and enjoy s'mores and a bonfire. I had not ridden a horse before, so it was scary at first. (It actually took me two SaySo Survivor weekends to get adjusted to the horses.)

I also went canoeing for the first time ever. I stayed on the canoe for a couple of seconds and got out very quickly, as I was afraid that I was going to flip over. It felt so weird. (Again, it actually took two SaySo Survivor weekends to get adjusted to canoes!)

But overall my experience at this event was great! I learned that even when I was very wary or anxious about the horses, bugs, and kayaking/canoeing, I still had the inner ability to become stronger and do all those things.

This helped me gain resilience. I think young people in foster care should know that this event helps you overcome challenges. You learn that you are much stronger and can be more successful than you could ever imagine.

La'Sharron Davidson is a Regional Assistant for SaySo, a United Way Youth Director, and a Fostering Youth Opportunities & Community Engagement Fellow.

~ Family and Children's Resource Program, UNC-CH School of Social Work ~