Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf
From Defeated to Renewed
By Tim “Laughing Raven” Riggs
Tim Riggs DEFEATED…That’s what I was when I arrived at the September New Warrior Training at Camp WaRiKi. I felt defeated for many reasons. I have never had a good male role model in my life. I have always felt belittled and not equal to other men. This has been so bad that I felt worthless and angry most of the time.
Besides feeling defeated I have to say that I was really frightened. What was I afraid of? I was afraid that I was wasting my money attending a camp for men. I was afraid that I was getting in over my head, and would not be able to do what was required. I was afraid of being unable to reach my goals.
A very good friend and counselor, Dan Turano, had been telling me for over a year that this group was just what I was looking for. Even though I completely trusted Dan I had a hard time believing that a group of men whom I had never met would, or could, show support and care about me.
I have to say that the weekend was transformative. I am NOT the same person who arrived defeated and afraid. The men working at the camp demonstrated to me that they really did care about me. I felt that they heard what I had to say. I felt that they wanted me to become the man I really wanted to be. I finally felt accepted by a group of men. I was surprised that they wanted me, not because I could do something for them, not because I had something they wanted, but because they gave a damn about the man behind the pain and fear.
All of my problems are not gone. I cannot say that because of this camp that life is perfect now, however, these men gave me something no one has ever cared to. They gave me hope, and because of that hope I am now a New Warrior. I left the camp feeling a renewed sense of self. An internal peace seems to have replaced the fear, and acceptance has replaced the anger.
I cannot believe the quality of the men who worked at the camp. These men left me feeling humbled and in awe. I was humbled that they came to serve and care for me. I was in awe that they accepted me for who and what I am. Honestly, as I type this I am still amazed at the quality of the men at the camp. I am honored to be a part of these men. They are, and have, inspired me to become the man I want to be. That man is a reflection of each of them.
If you ever wonder why you do this camp I’ll tell you: you do it for men like me, who are lost. You do it for men like me, who are in pain. You do it for men like me, who are afraid.
So thank you, Dan Turano, for directing me to MKP. Indeed, thank you to every man who worked at this camp, and thank you to all of the New Warriors who went through this camp with me. I appreciate the support, the caring attitude and acceptance shown to me! Most of all Thank you for the hope! Because of this camp, and because of all of your hard work I am…RENEWED!