Deep into the forest of the Carpathian Mountains, 30 worlds came together, in harmony, as some of the Blue Heron students, mentors, alumni and trainers met for the first time at the summer camp held at Cheile Rasnoavei with the help of our partners, the AED Ludens Association.
Twenty-three students arrived, from all over the country: Bucharest, Iasi, Cluj, Brasov, Oradea, Sibiu, Satu Mare. They met as strangers on a Friday afternoon, but they were friends by the next morning. They bonded quickly over the new and exciting experiences we had prepared – a year’s worth of joy, challenges, discoveries and friendship, all packed in six days’ time.
Stefania Magidson, the president of the Foundation, presented and gifted each of the students a copy of her first book, published in Romanian ”În Cautarea Magicianului Alb – Psihologia spirituală în manifestarea destinului” (Searching for the White Magician), an exploration of themes ranging from immigration and philanthropy to spiritual psychology and self-realization.
The young film director Tedy Necula made them think about life as a balancing act. Painter and Blue Heron mentor Ion Nedelcu took them on a journey behind the scenes of set design and decoration. They improved their job-hunting skills with the help of PR specialist Ada Lungu. The series of epiphanies continued with Vlad Panait, mentor and entrepreneur, who showed them that only by letting go of who they were in the past, they could become the person they envisioned themselves to be
Getting together with Cristina Porșega, the program director, the friend they had often spoke to on the phone but had never met until then, was highly emotional. Energy and laughter came to spice up the spiritual and intellectual delights at the summer camp. Psychologist Daniela Șerban and actor Adrian Păduraru, our graceful hosts and collaborators, came up with funny and challenging games. Under the guidance of Florin Șerbănescu (ex professional basketball player, actor and stunt man), no one was anything short of an athlete. Horseback-riding lessons and mountain hiking were anxiously awaited every day. And everyone’s spirits and arms bonded in the evening during the hora dancing led by Florin Teodorescu. Mihai Axinte, actor and drummer, made sure we ended the camp with a ”bang”, literally.
Each of us was transformed and uplifted.
The students revealed their inner wonders and gave us the gift of the greatness they held inside: Martha – pure energy and drive, Gabriel O – cool and effective, Alina M – a dreamer and explorer, Gabriel S – witty and fun, Imola – graceful and kindness, Radu – the man with the plan, Nadia – helpful and determined, Cornel – an artist of several talents, Zsuzsanna – radiant and skilled, Iulian – a helpful perfectionist, Oana – creative and charming, Claudiu – a high achiever, Marina – a healing smile, Daniel – a fan of debate, Ionuț – a survivor, saving lives, Daniela – working as hard as ever for her Pd.D., Eliza – sharp and discreet, Gigel – warm and supportive, Cosmina – a fairy in disguise, Lucian – ambitious and, Elvis – a friend to keep, Gheorghe – enterprising and open-minded, Alina C. – a winner over the bitter irony of faith, a champion of willpower and determination.
Some told us it was the only camp they ever attended. But most confided ”This was the best vacation of my life”.
They have no time for self-pity. They have plans, dreams and ideals. As Blue Heron scholarship recipients, they have friends who share their destiny, mentors who guide them through hardships and experiences that lift their spirits.