My Jump Into 4H Leadership Camp

It seems like I spend half the time worried about why I just took that job, and the other half wondering why I worried. I create things to worry about. Happened again with the 4H Leadership Camp gig. Their speaker cancelled, they called me the week before, and I said yes.  Then I hung up the phone and threw up a little in my mouth. 125 kids, age 12-18. Texas. Leadership camp. I remembered the few times I had been booked as a storyteller in a gymatorium, and I started to sweat. I asked my speaking peers if I had made a mistake – one told me it was a suicide mission and to get out while I still can. But I couldn’t. And that’s not my style anyway. I had committed, and it was time to stop worrying and get on top of this challenge. I could do it with fake eyelashes, I could do it with this. I knew this was going to take every last ounce of creativity I had in me – and I only had days to pull it together.  It’s one thing to get a job a week out, and just be able to pull something out of the hopper. It’s another thing to have to completely change your entire perspective. But that’s what I did. I won’t bore you with the details (like I usually do) but let’s just say that I went in there armed with candy, interactive games, a brand new speaking game plan, and the confidence of a soldier walking into a firing squad. (So much for visualizing a win.)

And I hit it out of the park. The kids had a ball. They ate up everything I had to say. They played all my games with zest. They listened, and they believed. They gave me a standing ovation and cheered so loud my ears hurt. And they rushed the stage, wanting to take my picture, wanting to share their dreams, wanting to be something they had never wanted to be before. It was one of the greatest moments in my life as a motivational speaker. And I literally flew out of there. I’m still flying.

And it never would have happened if I had not jumped. You never know what lies ahead of your jump. You aren’t guaranteed to land safely. You aren’t promised to hit your mark. You may fail, and you  may fail big.

Jump anyway. You’ll be glad you did. And so I am.

Thank you 4H Leadership Camp Kids of Kingsville, Texas, for teaching this motivational speaker that you never run out of courage.



Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

Did you enjoy this post? Just jot down your email and we'll keep you up-to-date with all of our motivation and entertainment.

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. Nice one Kelly!  Wow – I feel your excitement!  As I was reading your great post, I was thinking how much I wish I were there in your audience.  I would have rushed the stage too!!!! It’s people like you that make me proud to say I am a motivational speaker!

  2. I LOVE this Kelly! LOVE it!!  This has become my theme song for life and boy oh boy, it sure does take me into some scary places.  AND – it has expanded everything for me.  I did the same thing you did with the same age group at a high school here in Florida (you may remember my story of leaning over speaking into a karaoke machine when their sound system went out), and it was THAT presentation, where I tried something brand new, that pointed me in my new direction.  Thank you for reminding us ALL that we need to just feel the fear and do it anyway (well, thank YOU and Susan Jeffers)!

  3. Yay!! I’m standing up cheering for you like the kids in your audience with that post, Kelly!  The bonus is your message to take the leap.  I hear you sister!  1 – 2 – 3  JUMP!!

  4. I’m certain your left them with the message to stand out and stand out your did in their eyes! I’m with Marilyn. I wanted to be in your audience and play, laugh and cry with you!

Speak Your Mind