485 (11/25/09)

     Thanksgiving:  n. — Syn. Ceremony of giving thanks, day of blessing, day of worship, Thanksgiving Day, festival of plenty, last Thursday in November, turkey day*; see also celebration, feast, holiday, grace, gratitude, prayer, toast (Webster‘s New World Dictionary).

     I’m picking “festival of plenty” and “gratitude.” 

     Festivaln. 1. a time..of..celebration.  Plentyn. 2. a plentiful or abundant supply..  Gratituden. a feeling of thankful appreciation..

     As I’ve told our Trial Guard kids, parents, and board over and again, our biggest blessing this season, the one thing I feel most personally grateful for, was another injury and incident free year at Trail Guards. 

     Our young members mean the world to us, and having them so often under our care is an enormous honor and responsibility.  Their physical and emotional safety is paramount, and is our first consideration in everything we do.  We are thankful to have sent them home with smiles.

     We were also blessed with an abundance of ingredients for a successful year.  Our donors provided the means to carry on our mission.  Our staff, parents, and trip leaders gave us their dedication and hard work, and kept things safe and sane.   Our community residents, government, organizations, and businesses supported us when asked--and sometimes even when we didn’t.

     And our Trail Guard kids gave us all.  They came to us with energy, resourcefulness, respect, and imagination.  They embraced the essence of our simple rules, brought us joy and laughter, surprised us with their endurance and trust, and advanced our mission with grace and honor.  What more could we ask for?

     Our celebration really lasts all year, but the annual festival of Thanksgiving Day is a special time to savor and honor the joys of our lives.  As I celebrate my family and friends with my family and friends, I will be filled with an abundance of Trail Guard memories from an extraordinary year of plenty.