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I just wanted to thank you for giving my son a memorable experience at camp this summer. He has been telling everyone about the mountain he climbed and when he reached the top he saw Pennsylvania, New York and the Delaware Water Gap. The photograph he took of the Blurry Bridge was amazing and I didn’t know he had a fear of heights, but thank you for helping him overcome that fear. Holding a snake wasn’t something he desired but he did it and told me all about it.

From my standpoint, my son came home with a different attitude, he seems to be more positive about himself and he definitely is pleasant to have around. He did set a few goals for himself, is excited about starting school, which is what I was hoping would happen from this experience, and he has already shown improvement in making choices.

Thank you so much for giving my son this opportunity which I am sure he will remember for a lifetime.

Parent of a Positive for Life Expedition Camper

Following the end of the Positive for Life Expedition, students were asked questions regarding their experience(s) from the Camp, these are some of those responses.

What are the most valuable things that you learned? "I learned how to overcome my fears and how to reach my dreams."

What did you learn that you think you will use in eighth grade, high school, and beyond? "How to get better grades and how to overcome obstacles so I can get to my goals."

What other things will you remember about your Positive for Life Expedition? "Probably everything. I had so much fun and it was a really enjoyable experience."

What are the most valuable things that you learned? "The most valuable thing that I learned while at PFL was the teamwork. The teamwork was the most valuable because it teaches you and peers how to work together."

What did you learn that you think you will use in eighth grade, high school, and beyond? "I think I will always remember the lesson that you have to put something great in to get something great out."

What activities did you enjoy most? Why? "I enjoyed photography because you got to get a closer look at our surroundings and capture it."

What other things will you remember about your Positive for Life Expedition? "I will remember all the fun I had and you can't be afraid of failure."

How was your PFL Experience changed how you see yourself, your goals, and your future? "To see what I can become when I get older."

How was your PFL Experience changed how you see yourself, your goals, and your future? "My PFL experience changed how I see my goals. A new way to set them in a plan and go for it."

What did you learn that you think you will use in eighth grade, high school, and beyond? "I learned to have more trust in others and be confident that others will help you back up when you fall."

What activities did you enjoy the most? Why? "My favorite activity was definitely rock climbing. I liked this because when I got to the top I felt so proud."

What other things will your remember about Your Positive for Life Expedition? "All of it, this was the best camp ever."

Positive for Life Expedition Campers

Thank you for bringing Scott Chesney to Paramus High School. We are very grateful and appreciative to the Dave Musikant Foundation. Mr. Chesney’s presentation was both inspirational and thought provoking. The feedback from our students and faculty was overwhelmingly positive! We are very much looking forward to his return in January.

Once again, I want to express my sincere gratitude for exposing our students and staff to such a wonderful program.

Sincerely,
Kurt A. Karcich

A letter from Kurt A. Karcich, principal of Paramus High School, where Scott Chesney addressed the freshman class.

It was the middle of summer when my mom told me about camp. I had to go to summer camp, I had no choice. I was able to bring James, my tall, skinny friend who loves basketball. You could tell he didn’t want to go just by looking at him. I was homesick before I even got in the car. When we arrived at the meeting area where the bus would take all of us to the camp I wasn’t very confident but I got on the bus and was on my way. The camp was two hours away but it seemed a lot longer.

As we were on our way, the director told us about the mission of the camp and why it was founded. The camp was named for a person called Dave Musikant, who died of cancer. He was a really good guy. He was very successful at everything he did and was an inspiration to many people. We learned that he wanted to be a motivational speaker, but most motivational speakers have a story to go along with why they are motivational speakers. Dave Musikant didn’t have a story. Then one day he was diagnosed with a tumor in his head that caused him to go blind, and even though this could have been tragic, he turned it into a positive, realizing that this gave him a story to tell that would motivate people. As a blind young guy, not only did he go around speaking, but he also ran for Mayor of his town. There was even a movie made about him called “Anytown USA”. When he died, the Dave Musikant Positive For Life Foundation was created. The fund made so much money they opened a camp for young people between 7th and 9th grade to help them build character, achieve goals, overcome limits, and do well in school and in life.

When James and I got to the camp we immediately went on a two-hour hike up a mountain. When we got to the top, it was beautiful. You could see the lake and all the trees. We could even see Manhattan. We got back to our cabin and went to bed. No cell phones, no TV, no electronics at all. We felt like we were living in another generation.

The next day when we started playing sports, James and I started making friends. James and I are good at sports, I’m the big kid who can take lay-ups and get rebounds, and he is the skinny kid who could dribble a basketball really well. We also learned how to accomplish impossible tasks and to work as a team. We climbed a twelve-foot wall with no rope, just lifting people over. We also did a lot of night hikes. On one hike, a couple of us got lost and didn’t find our camp for about two hours. Everything was pitch black and you couldn’t see your hand if you held it right in front of your face. We didn’t have flashlights because we were developing night vision, but it didn’t really work.

The last night of the camp, we went on a hike through a bear cave that came up on the top of a mountain. When we reached the top you couldn’t see the ground. We climbed down through a very small hole in the top of the mountain and came out of the rock face and had to climb/slide down to the ground. This was the coolest thing I had ever done! It’s amazing everyone was able to do it. We were given workbooks so that we could set goals for ourselves. We learned about Coach John Wooden’s pyramid of success. How you have to work hard at things to achieve your goals.

I learned a lot about overcoming limits. There were so many things I did at camp that I don’t think I would have done before because of fear. This camp taught me to stay positive, set goals for life and have fun achieving them. By the end of the camp it was like everyone had known each other their whole life, we still all keep in touch. We relied on each other and almost forgot we had parents.

A Positive for Life Expedition Camper