• April 13, 2011
  • Posted by Elisheba Bagrow

Thumb [thuhm] 
1. the short, thick, inner digit of the human hand, next to the forefinger

Julia is at the center of the room, debriefing the N. Rock crew leaders on the schedule for the week.  Done with her piece and wanting to make sure everyone understood, she puts her thumbs out and asks, “Thumbs?” Everyone responds, “Thumbs!”, which means that yes, we understand.  We continued to do this at the Leadership Summit at Camp Mak-A-Dream and what was so great is that everyone just went along! A short and catchy phrase, it is simple to apply it to so many things. But before we get carried away I decide to throw pride to the wind and explain the origins of this wonderful, new tradition.

Spring break of my junior year of college, my roommate and I headed up to the Adirondacks in upstate New York. Staying with her family the whole week, we made the rounds and this included skiing on Whiteface Mtn., the mountain that took part in two Winter Olympics. I had never skied before and my roommate did not have much experience. Needless to say I picked it up rather quickly and got bored with the smaller hill. Asked around if, with my little experience but quick pick up, would it be worth it to try the next run up.

I decided to go for it anyways and started up the lift. The view was phenomenal and the thought of how high the lift was going was just a small thought in the back of my head. Off the lift and at the top of the run, I started making my way down, thinking it was the same as the smaller hill but I would just be skiing longer: obviously not applying any physics to this situation. Started really picking up speed, to the point where I was really no longer in control and I realized that If I did not stop now I would most likely hurt other people and myself at the bottom so I decided to self sacrifice and force myself to stop ahead of time. This ended in me flipping over my body, ski coming off, and hyper-extending both of my thumbs. At first I thought they were broken but as the initial pain dumbed down to numbness, I realized they were not broken but still not functioning. A ski teacher near by came and offered to call the First Aid team, which I decided would be a good call since I could not hold my poles anymore. The saga ended up with my being taken down on a sled with my thumbs up for the world to see. [They are now ok]

Now WHAT you might say, does this really have to do with the MCC season? I will tell you! My Thumbs experience was not the most graceful, fun, or pain-free experience you can have but with a sense of humor and the help of others, [I told this story over dinner the first night of the season] it was turned into a merry anthem and something to identify with. Regardless of your position within MCC or whatever it is that you do apply this to your life! No matter how much it hurts or how embarrassing it is, if you really believe, and even if you do not, it can always be turned to good.  As leaders, this is really important to get across to your crews and to hold fast to yourself because this season will bring its hardships, of all shapes and sizes. And so MCC 2011 Crew Leaders and company, I implore you, take up your thumbs and hike.


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