Miniwanca Magic: it’s something we talk a lot about, especially as we near the end of the summer each year. Campers comment on how amazing it is to be part of the magic here, and how hard it is to keep it going at home. But what is Miniwanca Magic? Though we don’t have a specific definition for it, I would say it is that feeling you get when you are living as your own best self, surrounded by people who accept you, feeling that you can make a positive difference in the world. Miniwanca Magic is something that happens effortlessly here on the sand dunes, among our other Founder Friends. We’re all here working towards the same goals of best self, balanced living, and positive community. All of our work together creates this beautiful thing we call Miniwanca Magic.
Away from Miniwanca, trying to recreate that feeling is more difficult. We find ourselves straying away from best self behavior, or getting out of sync with that balanced life we found at Miniwanca. We spend too much time on our phones and not enough time focusing on making true connections with others. Maybe we find that the community we’re in is not all that positive, but we’re not sure how to actively make a difference. Essentially, the magic starts to feel like it’s slipping away.
The truth is that the Magic of Miniwanca isn’t in the place. It is not Miniwanca which creates that magic, but all of us. This means that we should be able to recreate that magic when we’re at home as long as we can get back to those core ideas of best self, balanced living, and positive community. But it isn’t an easy task to do. Below are some ideas to help keep that Miniwanca Magic alive all year long.
Spend Some Time Reflecting
Why do you want to do this? I have been asking myself that question more often lately, and I have found that it helps give me clarity. I have found that I am someone who values seeing the big picture. While I will do a task because I “should,” when that is the only reason I do something, I tend to not put as much of myself into it. Discovering the reason behind the task helps give me drive to accomplish my goals and to accomplish them well. I encourage you to think about why you want to continue feeling that Miniwanca Magic, and why you want to be your best self.
Set Goals for Yourself
Once you have figured out the why, start thinking about what the end goal is. What is it that you’re actually trying to accomplish? Do you want to be your best self? What does that look like? Are you trying to live a balanced life? Do you want to build a positive community around you? Take some time to come up with goals, and then make them specific and measurable. Keep track of them and celebrate them, just like we do when we climb the rock wall here at Miniwanca. Write your goals down, and then also keep track of the steps you make towards your goals.
Find a Friend
Let’s face it – sometimes it’s hard to do things on your own. Simple solution: don’t. Miniwanca is an amazing community, full of people who are seeking the same things you are. Just because you are not physically here on the sand dunes and beside Lake Michigan does not mean you cannot tap into this great community. Establish a group chat with your Miniwanca friends, or meet up with other Miniwanca folks in your area. Find the people at your school or work who seem like they are trying to seek that concept of “best” themselves. These are the people who will help you when you’re struggling. Having people around you who know your best and are trying for their own is incredibly encouraging and can help you keep that Miniwanca Magic alive.
Keep in Touch
While you do not have to be here to keep the magic alive, Miniwanca will always be a place you can connect with to recharge. We travel throughout the winter to a number of Midwest cities, host a free Volunteer Weekend every spring, and offer Family and Alumni Camp every August. These are all great ways to get back in touch with the Miniwanca community. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, and through this blog. Keep in touch with that feeling you’ve found at Miniwanca and keep it alive all year long. We believe that you are capable of changing the world for the better, each and every one of you, so let us be your support system through that hard work.
In the end, it all comes down to community and connection. Miniwanca is built on and for and by us all, each year. This is why we are all Founders. We all make the Miniwanca Magic happen. It may be easier when we are together here, but it is not impossible to replicate at home. And one of the most beautiful things about Miniwanca Magic is that just by living it, you can inspire others to live it too.
“Never give up until you have released your unused capacities for service and shared your gifts with others. One enkindled spirit can set hundreds on fire.” – William H. Danforth