#CHOOSEKIND - Part 1 - by Heath

I would not have gone to see this movie. Star Wars. Yes (GO SEE IT IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY!!!). New Pixar movie. Sure. Movie I never heard of and sounds serious and depressing. No thanks. So I want to start by thanking the other dad (and my wife) who insisted we should go see this with a couple of 10 year olds. Thank you. A lot.

Little Auggie has a major facial deformity and has hidden it all his life, including being home schooled by his mom (played by Julia Roberts) and having his dad (played by Owen Wilson) as his best (and only) friend. It is now time for him to go to public school and as you can imagine, not everyone (in fact basically no one) is kind. It is a heartwarming story of several attempts by students and faculty to make Auggie feel normal (whatever that is) and it’s incredible to watch. I don’t want to give too many details…I want you and your children to experience it yourselves.

Seeing the movie is only the first step, more importantly I want you to talk about the movie with your children! Which characters do they want to be like and WHY? Maybe they want to be like Mr. Tushman or Mr. Browne (played by two of my favorites- Mandy Patankin and Daveed Diggs!), two great adult role models in the movie. Or maybe they want to be like one of the students who finally decides to do something when Auggie is lonely and being tormented by other children. Ask them if they can think of a situation when they wish they had acted differently. What will they do next time? These are the conversations that will lead to more positive actions by our children and give them the confidence to know that what they feel inside is right and to follow those instincts!

At camp you will sometimes see campers and staff comforting each other in times of need and you will often see diverse groups of people celebrating each other’s accomplishments. Camp is a place where children who need more love get more love. Directors take a personal interest and get to know every family at camp. Dedicated staff members make sure all campers enjoy camp and give extra support to those who need it to share each and every magical experience.

Look out for a second part to this blog in a few weeks which will discuss Auggie’s sister Via, another interesting character worth discussing in the context of camp.

Thank you to R.J. Palacio, who wrote the book that this movie was based on for giving me inspiration for my first blog. Please tell me what you thought! And don't forget to #choosekind!

heath@shibleydaycamp.com

--> -->