LOVE THE SKIN YOU ARE IN 2016
“Everything was perfect.” “We learned so much from the speaker.” “Just what we needed.” “We learned a lot and the kids had a blast.” “Wouldn’t change a thing!”
These are just some of the comments from the participants of our Love The Skin You Are In conference that was held on November 20, 2016 at Texas Safari Ranch in Richmond, TX. It was as a perfect day and a definite success as we fulfilled the goals of educating, encouraging and empowering those who were in attendance.
The day began with a keynote talk from Kurt Podeswza who is founder of Journey Consulting and Director of Camp For All. He is an amazing speaker, trainer, educator, author and facilitator, but more importantly, he is a great person who is excellent at communicating with both adults and youth. Kurt’s keynote talk, Family Communication: Expressing Needs (and Wants) Appropriately and Effectively, was filled with many great tips. While the kids played outside in the wonderful weather and made new friends, the parents learned from the breakout session on Blackhawk Parenting: How To Be A Protective Parent and Give Independence. We are thankful for Kurt’s expertise and have no doubt our families benefitted from his wisdom and advice.
The afternoon was filled with tons of yummy food and fun activities. Texas Safari Ranch was an ideal venue for our event! The kids and adults of all ages enjoyed volleyball, basketball, table tennis, badminton, miniature golf, paddle boats and carnival games! And who doesn’t love popcorn, cookies, snow cones and ice cream sundaes?!
We are thankful for the families who attended, the volunteers who helped make it so special and the organizations and individuals who supported it. We are grateful for each and every one of you, and consider it a blessing to come together to make a positive difference in one another’s lives as we build community among those affected by skin conditions and birthmarks.
Inaugural Love The Skin You Are In
June 4, 2016, was a rainy day in Houston, but it did not deter the nearly 75 participants from attending the first annual Love the Skin You Are In conference that was held at The Health Museum and sponsored by A Children’s House for the Soul. There was a palpable energy and sense of community among those who attended this event that aimed to educate, encourage and empower.
The day began with a keynote address from Rick Guidotti, who is the founder of Positive Exposure, a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities to see individuals living with a difference first and foremost as a human being rather than as a specific diagnosis or disease. His inspiring message of changing how you see and seeing how you change was a powerful one. Rick, as a previous fashion photographer in New York City, shared his incredible skills and captured the true beauty of those who attended through his brilliant photographic works of art.
Jessica Shannon, a chaplain with a particular love for ministry with children and their families, was able to use a potato to help us see the unique potential that we all have within ourselves. Shannon Pickard, the #1 most requested youth speaker in America, shared his dynamic spirit and entertaining sense of humor, to help us realize that we all super heroes. Lindsay O’Sullivan, a certified Child Life Specialist and Camp Dermadillo Programming Coordinator, also led us in some fun activities using Positive Works flipbooks that showed us that we shouldn’t put ourselves in boxes and that we all rock!
A highlight of the day was the panel of experts that included teens and young adults affected by skin conditions and birthmarks who shared their insider tips with the group. The day ended with a reminder that we are all the World’s Greatest! It was an amazingly awesome event that connected us, inspired us and brought joy to the soul thanks to everyone who was involved- our participants, our speakers, our panelists, our volunteers, our planning committee, our board of directors and our donors!
Based on the comments from the event, we can’t wait for the next one!
“It was great hearing about others and getting questions I didn’t even realized I had answered.”
“All of the speakers were awesome. Very positive and uplifting.”
“So glad you incorporated the spiritual aspects of coping. These children so need to hear that God does not make mistakes and they are His masterpieces!”
“The panel of insiders was fantastic! Hearing from people who have walked the path we are going down gives me hope as a parent that my child won’t be defined by her limitations.”
“It was very interesting and informative- time flew!”
“Meeting new people and learning how they cope and deal with things was great.”
We are so thankful to all of our sponsors who played a part in making our Love the Skin You Are In conference happen!