Cole reflects on the last three weeks at EXPLO and how his experience has reinforced his confidence as a kid who challenges himself to try new things.

One of the best things from this session was getting Quad time everyday after meals. Just going out there and playing a bit of wall ball or kicking the soccer ball around, it was just always a happy place. I also took Street Luge as a workshop. It was really easy to learn once you got the hang of it, but then there’s still that thrill with going really fast and I really liked that.

I took Mini Golf Engineering this week and we’re building our courses for the Final Party tonight. I really like designing and engineering, so it’s been fun and it’s taught me more about my interests. Hopefully when I’m home I’ll be able to get my hands on some materials and get to work on some designs and engineering on my own. I’ve been able to learn so many things about myself and my interests while I’ve been here — like how I love to play wall ball. I’ll have to teach my friends at home. I already knew this about myself, but it has definitely been reinforced here that I’m open to trying new things. Like today, I tried VR, which was quite a new experience and really cool. It seemed so real. I was standing there and experiencing something so new.

This might seem a bit crazy, but I feel like EXPLO could prepare you for college in a way. I mean, you’re learning on a college campus, and you’re also away from your parents for a long while. So there’s that feeling of homesickness in the middle of it, and then it really feels like a school experience. I see the Mini students just come for a week and they don’t really get to know the EXPLO customs or the campus or their adviser as closely, but as a full three-week camper, I feel more at home. It’s really just flown by. I just really hope to come back next year and experience more.