“Everything happens for a reason.” I never really understood the true meaning of that saying until I came across Smile-A-Mile. In the summer of 2017, I had the opportunity to serve as a cabin counselor. As soon as I arrived at the camp site, I fell in love with it and from there my life was changed. Not only did I have a great chance to serve others and give back my community, but I also got to meet the bravest kiddos, the most amazing staff, and last (but definitely not least) made great friendships that will last forever. The amount of love everyone has for one another cannot be put into words. It is the true definition of what family is. Smile-A-Mile is one of the biggest blessings of my life. It is really rewarding to see your positive influence of others and how much change an individual can make by simply volunteering. Observing that only made me want to give even more and become more involved. I have had many great memories at SAM that will last for the rest of my life. I had my first s’more, learned how to canoe, paddle board, and many other awesome things. Also, I had the opportunity to teach campers how to play the guitar. I have had countless laughs and many tears. I can keep talking for days about SAM and it still won’t be enough to describe how great it is. After my first camp, I remember my heart being so full and so happy. A feeling that I can’t put into words. Today, I live by the SAM motto, “provide hope.” Provide hope to my family, friends, and my community. Whether it is physical health, school, business, or anything else, I have been eternally inspired to provide hope. Smile-A-Mile gave me family, friends, and hope. I am truly honored and blessed to be a member of the SAM family and cannot wait for many more years to come along with awesome memories and friendships.