Danny Navigating (National Volunteer Week 2012)

On a cool October day, a group of boys and their teachers from La Salle School set out for a monthly camping trip. For 13 year-old Danny, it would be another exciting journey but with the added bonus of going caving, something he had done before and felt confident to do again.

Entering the first large area of the cave was simple, but making his way into a smaller crawl space proved to be a surprising challenge.

As the space became tighter and more difficult to navigate, a part of Danny panicked and he froze in place–ridden with anxiety. Without hesitation, he cried out to his teacher, “Mr. Gomez, I’m afraid!” Mr. Gomez replied, “It’s ok, you got this” as he quickly soothed Danny’s nerves.

By affirming Danny’s progress and reminding him that he’ll be alright, Mr. Gomez coached Danny through a couple of feet through the crawlspace. After a few minutes, Danny was calm again and was able to make his way out of the crawlspace confidently.

For La Salle School and Danny, going the extra mile means taking each step in an ongoing process of learning what it means to be a man. In Danny’s case, going the extra mile did not involve athletic ability, pride, or toughness. Going the extra mile was acknowledging his fear, revealing he cannot succeed alone, and entrusting his doubt to the support around him.

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