My Little Buddy | AspenTimes.com
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My Little Buddy

Dear Editor:

In honor of January being National Mentoring Month, I would just like to express my appreciation of the experience I have had with the Buddy Program. When I first moved into the Roaring Fork Valley, I was looking for ways to get involved within the community beyond my job, and that is when I found the Buddy Program.

I was paired with an amazing 8-year-old girl who quickly added joy to my life. Together, we have experienced new things, such as zip-lining, the Glenwood Caverns, hiking to the Maroon Bells and skiing Buttermilk on Buddy Ski Day. Three years later, we are still having fun and constantly laughing. My Buddy adds so much to my life and gives me an opportunity to experience things I wouldn’t have otherwise. I am always amazed at the talent and culture in our beautiful valley when I watch her Folkorico performances.

Being a Big Buddy is incredibly rewarding and lets me act like a kid. I get to experience things that I have done all my life again through her eyes. My Buddy and I explore the valley as much as possible and enjoy spending time outside. This past summer, I took my Buddy and her mom to the Maroon Bells for their first time. I loved seeing the expressions on their faces as they saw the beauty around us. That was my Little Buddy’s first hike. A few weeks later when we hiked to Hanging Lake, my Little Buddy sported new hiking shoes and a Camelbak, just bought by her mom so she could enjoy hiking more. On this hike, she said, “I think I’m getting this hiking thing down!” She took off a few days later for the fifth-grade outdoor-education trip, in which she would hike, rock climb and kayak a little more confidently.

However, in order to best enjoy each other, we don’t have to run off on some big adventure, but rather we prefer to walk from school, stopping at the Midland Bakery for an afternoon treat. My Buddy and I simply enjoy sharing our lives. Over the past three years, big things have happened for both of us, and both our lives are enriched because of it.

Thank you to the Buddy Program for pairing me with such an adventurous and silly Little Buddy. I look forward to our next adventure or cupcake from the bakery!

To learn more about National Mentoring Month, how to become a Big Buddy or lend support to the Buddy Program, please go to http://www.buddyprogram.org.

Emily Mathis

Big Buddy in the Buddy Program


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