Leadership Trainees Give Back: TEC Turkey Trot 2020

Through our TEC Cares program, we strive to instill the value of giving back to the community in every camper. Our annual Sports-A-Thon is just one way members of our camp community dedicate their time and resources to help others. Hosted by our Leadership Trainees (LTs), the Sports-A-Thon is an 8-hour event where our 8th through 11th grade campers participate in sports and team activities to raise money for a variety of amazing charities. 

Unfortunately, our 2020 LTs missed the chance to lead our campers through this special event. This is why we were thrilled and proud when two of our 2020 Leadership Trainees, Jack Feinberg and Layla Schechner, reached out in September to explore opportunities for our LTs to reclaim this important leadership and charitable experience. 

Jack and Layla proposed organizing Trail’s End’s first ever virtual Turkey Trot with the help of their fellow LTs. Not content to miss out on such an important aspect of their LT summer, they developed an event that ultimately made a big impact on two worthy charities. 

Leadership Trainee campers meet at New York City's Central Park to kick-off the Turkey Trot.

Marc, Rona, Sara and Kylie meet with some 2020 Leadership Trainees in Central Park to kick-off the 2020 TEC Turkey Trot.

Giving back to two great causes!

After discussing which causes the Turkey Trot would support, the Leadership Trainees decided on two charities: Sunrise Day Camp and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Sunrise Day Camp, a charity the TEC Cares program regularly supports, provides children struggling with cancer and their siblings with a fun, carefree summer camp experience. Sunrise board member Jimmy Berg describes these camps as “a bright light in the lives of those desperately in need of sunshine and laughter.” How inspiring it is to see our campers give the gift of camp to those who need it most!

Layla Schechner explained the decision to also support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention by saying “the LTs as a whole believe that mental health and suicide prevention are very relevant to what is going on in the world right now.” The AFSP supports survivors of suicide loss, educates the public about mental health and suicide prevention, and funds relevant scientific research, all to reach the ultimate goal of understanding and preventing suicide. 

Our 2020 Leadership Trainees mobilized to spread the word about this virtual TEC Turkey Trot, motivated by their desire to make a difference. From creating t-shirts, kindly donated by the Feinberg family, to bringing their friends, family, alumni and staff into the fold, all of us at Trail’s End were proud to see our LTs work so diligently to give back. 

Trail's End Turkey Trot participants wear their Turkey Trot shirts.

It’s time to trot!

Sunday, November 22nd marked the date of the inaugural Trail’s End Turkey Trot. As soon as the sun rose that morning, pictures and social media posts of people taking to the streets and their treadmills to support our Leadership Trainees came rolling in. From campers, to staff, to alumni, we watched as our TEC family walked and ran for a great cause. 

In the days leading up to the Turkey Trot, our fundraising goal was set at $10,000. Amazingly, by the end of the donation period our Leadership Trainees managed to surpass that goal and raise $13,130. That money will go on to do great things at Sunrise Day Camps and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

While we’re always proud when our Leadership Trainees take time out of their summer to give back, watching as the 2020 Leadership Trainees turned the loss of their LT summer into something that will help countless people is particularly inspiring. We thank our 2020 Leadership Trainees for showing true leadership and compassion in such a challenging year. We also thank every person who participated in our Turkey Trot and helped our LTs exceed their goals. We’re always touched by the kindness and generosity of our extended Trail’s End family. 

Better For Having Been