By Kristen Graves
I first learned about AngelRide about a year ago.
Lynn and Fred (the founders/directors) came to one of my concerts, and introduced themselves. They told me what they were about and what they were planning, and without much more than a few minutes of information, I was set to play for the AngelRiders on their evening at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.
I planned for the evening like any other show.
I put together a list of repertoire that I thought would be fitting and inspiring, I did a little reading through their websites to make sure that I knew what I was talking about, and I made sure that I arrived early so that I could get to know my environment.
Arriving at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is a special experience in itself.
You’re entering a space that is full of love, energy & hope, and you can instantly feel it.
I was given a tour of the camp which gave me a chance to see all that goes on to make sure that all kids can have a camp experience. It was quite emotional seeing all the ways that this place works to make every kid feel and know that they belong.
I was most struck by the treehouse.
The treehouse at Hole in the Wall wraps around a few dozen different trees, and is wheelchair accessible. All I could think of as I was climbing into the treehouse was my friend, Rich, who lives with cerebral palsy. He’s never been up in a tree before, and I got a little teary thinking about how much he would have enjoyed the feeling.
My evening singing for AngelRiders was incredibly special.
As a singer/songwriter, I’m very fortunate. I’ve had many nights with wonderful audiences.
We laugh, cry and sing together, and above all, we connect. We’re all together. In a moment.
It’s a shared experience unique to that evening.
This was one of those nights.
We shared stories, we celebrated the gifts that AngelRide gives to the world, we honored the lives of campers lost, and we were together. In a shared human moment.
Seeing the work that AngelRide does in the world was a great privilege, and I’m so glad to be involved in my small part. It’s an honor.
AngelRide makes me want to be a better person. And for that, and for all of you AngelRiders, I thank you.