When I look back at life, as I often do, I am enveloped by memories of all the people and places that have had an impact on me. I sometimes struggle with dates and the names of people and places, but I never forget how someone made me feel or the emotions I felt discovering a city, eating at a new restaurant, or whiling away the afternoon in a museum. My husband can tell with complete accuracy when we visited a city, where we dined, and how long he sat on the bench at the museum waiting for me. I will tell you how the city made me feel, how decadent the chocolate mousse was, and the expression on the elderly couple who - when finally standing in front of the Mona Lisa - were surprised that the painting they had seen in so many different editorials was not nearly as large as they had imagined.
The smell of a pool, the sound of the ocean, the taste of a meal, and the kindness of a stranger can bring up feelings that connect me to my past. Much like a photographer viewing an archive of photos, I randomly access an archive of my emotions. I have found that although my memories run the spectrum of happy to sad, and past to current, I am most often visited with happy memories from my childhood and I immediately feel as though I’ve gone back in time, connecting my past emotions to my present experience.
My inability to remember dates and names often caused me frustration, until my sister pointed out that my heart had to be touched for me to remember someone or something that I did not encounter often. With this simple statement, she made me feel better about my self-perceived shortfall. Even as the years have passed, and I find myself beginning to get frustrated when I struggle to remember, I think of what she said, and I forgive myself for not having a name or date on the tip of my tongue.
Because my past plays such an important part in all my present experiences, I feel fortunate to work at Camp Fire, where through our many programs we can make a lasting emotional connection for so many children. Individual childhoods vary, but we strive to make the experience positive and fulfilling for each child and create moments that will touch their heart. If you are wondering if we are successful, visit our website and look at the faces of our participants. Whether it’s playing in the mud, zipping down a challenge course line, reading a book to a child, or something else – Camp Fire is building meaningful childhood memories for each of our youth. One day they will look back, just as I do, and smile at the moments they once had as Camp Fire kids.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
Linda Ramoz serves as the council’s Chief Financial Officer. She brings more than 20 years of experience in general accounting, financial and operational analysis and project management to the First Texas Council. Prior to joining Camp Fire, she worked for the MHA Group and Hawkins Family Enterprises. Linda holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Angelo.