Sharing Her Roots: One Big’s Experience in Fostering a Little’s Love of Nature

Kristin and Lacee at SNJ's Open House at Grizzly Creek Ranch in the summer of 2013.

Kristin and Lacee at SNJ's Open House at Grizzly Creek Ranch in the summer of 2013.

Lacee and I have been matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada (BBBSNN) for five years. We just celebrated our anniversary—or matchiversary, as we like to call it—on Feb. 8, 2016. We get together every couple of weeks and over the years have done a wide range of activities. Some of our favorites are game night at the library, crafty-type activities, window shopping at the mall, archery and going out for sushi. 

We learned about SNJ’s camp program during an open house at the Grizzly Creek Ranch Campus in the summer of 2013. Lacee and I had a great day at the open house. When we first arrived, we toured the camp and after the tour, we were allowed to wander and participate in camp activities. We climbed the Alpine Tower, did archery, worked a little in the garden, did science experiments, kayaked, and had lunch in the cafeteria. At the end of the day, Lacee was excited at the possibility of going to summer camp there. 

Attending the open house brought back many great memories for me of going to “Outdoor Ed” and summer camp when I was Lacee’s age. Based on Lacee’s enthusiasm, I wanted her to have similar experiences, make life-long memories, and learn about science, nature, and protecting the environment. I have loved nature and the outdoors since I was a little girl, and I hope to instill a little of that into her as her Big Sister and mentor. 

SNJ has been so very generous to Lacee and her family, providing partial scholarships for her in 2014 and 2015. She had a ball at camp in 2014 (her first year) and said she wanted to go back every year that she could. She went back in 2015, and is looking forward to 2016 as well.

Please consider donating to SNJ during Nevada's Big Give this year to help send other youth from BBBSNN to summer camp. It has been a life-changing experience for Lacee.

- Kristin Szabo, Big Sister and Mentor