Life really throws some amazing curve balls. Believe me, I’ve had some that have sent me sailing into left field, but this week I caught one square in the middle of my oven mitt!

Having been asked months ago to do a simple cooking demonstration for high school students that come to a local Boys and Girls Club location after school, the assignment was given to our Camp Director to determine a proper menu and execute all of the preliminary prep, ideas for take home treats, and a great door prize. Haleigh did her part in getting the pre-game practice in order, and I was set to get there in time to greet the young people and “do my thing.”

As usual, my deadlines get enormous as we approach an execution date that was set in place over a month ago. I literally ran out of the building to get there on time and could only think of a million other projects I have in place as I arrived and went inside. Seeing Haleigh’s set up in place and being familiar with the treats we would prepare, I had time to look at the amazing new facility in Augusta and get a glimpse at the opportunities that are being provided to these youths.

When all 15 students came into the kitchen, I got smiling faces, upbeat attitudes, and shouts of “thank you for coming” and “glad you are here.” All of my stress and concerns for ANYTHING other than the next hour completely left my brain. I knew I was in for a great experience.

The attitudes, interest, and overall respect that I was shown gave me so much enthusiasm for these students and the time we were spending together in the kitchen. We started with making the dough for Hershey’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. Once the dough was complete, we divided into groups of five in which they all had a hand in the preparation of the final cookie.

While they baked, I did a demonstration on a chocolate cake that was decorated to look like a pumpkin to use as a centerpiece for Halloween or Thanksgiving. These high school students were ready to make this themselves and had great questions about the process. Once complete, it was time for cookies to come out of oven and be topped with a mini Reece’s Peanut butter cup.

As those cooled in the refrigerator to be ready to be packaged attractively to take home, I had a few minutes to talk to them about the “recipe of life” and how using ingredients to make a successful dessert can be applied to having all of the key ingredients to be a good student, good person, and great leader.

Funny, that curve ball I mentioned that I caught—it was the ball I thought was going to distract me from matters of importance that had accelerated that day at my office. When I caught the ball, a shift happened. I had been asked to come to inspire those young people, but instead they inspired me. I will definitely be going back for more of what I received.

Need to get a dose of what I received this week? Check out Boys and Girls Clubs…BE INSPIRED!