Each year Eagle sponsors an event in Ottawa called the Young Author’s and Illustrators Conference. This year 675 children from grades 4 through 8 spent a day with professional authors and illustrators to learn about their crafts.
Can you remember when you were a kid and there was something you really loved … for me it was “football” (soccer). I would kick a ball from morning till night, twelve months a year, whether it was with friends or against a wall … I would picture myself scoring the winning goal in the cup final, or running onto the pitch in an England jersey. Obviously I was never that good … but I loved to play, and only quit playing last year.
Today I went along to meet the 200 plus kids attending today’s conference sessions. These are kids whose passion is writing and drawing and they were very excited to be spending the day with real authors and illustrators. Some had driven from as far as Southern Ontario to be at the event. Their eyes shone and even during the formal start to the day there were 200 plus eager kids paying attention.
Can you remember when you last felt that way? It is amazing to watch that kind of passion, to see their concentration, missing nothing and so obviously happy to be there.
There are so many lessons to learn from kids, especially kids with a passion. Sometimes it is good to rediscover the kid within yourself, to really enjoy something with that same rapture the kids showed. If we only get one chance at life then surely we should enjoy it!
Another lesson I took away is that I need to find time to do this more often! This is the first time I have visited the conference despite being a sponsor for many years. Seeing these kids was inspiring for me and certainly made me feel good that we could be helping to make this happen for them.
An important lesson I think is that it is possible to make a difference in a life by giving someone an opportunity. Over the years I have heard time and again how much of an influence this conference has been in the lives of budding authors and illustrators. To have a passion and pursue it helps to make us all better people, if I can help some kids to realise their passion then wow!
I had fun today! 675 kids had fun this week! We can all recapture this kind of love of life by developing a passion for something … anything!