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Tales from the Tribe

Finding Family: Mal + Heidi

by Campowerment Crew
 ∙ May 21 ∙ 2 Min Read

Losing a parent is never easy. It doesn’t matter if you’re five years old or fifty. Though there is something particularly unfair about young girls losing their mothers, the painful finality of losing a parent feels like a punch to the gut at any age.

And yet…through tragic loss and deep sadness, beautiful connection can be born. Such became the case for Heidi Checkoff, 50 , and Mallory Halley, 29.

MAL: We met at Campowerment in the Catskills, and we were sitting on a bench in a field after a Circle, just the two of us. We just started talking and crying and hugging. We understood the same things about each other. We had an instant connection…not just because of our losses, but there was a deeper understanding between us because of that.

That was four years ago, and our love has just continued to grow. We’re family.

HEIDI: It’s like an unfortunate club. Your life is never the same [once you join]. Even though I’m older than Mal, we both know loss that you never really get over.

MAL: Leading up to then-10-year anniversary of my mom’s death, I was feeling really stressed and anxious. Heidi knew I was dreading that day, so she came into New York City (where I was living at the time) just to spend a day with me. It meant so much because it was so much better than being home alone. Instead, I got to be with someone who not only loves me but really understands how I’m feeling. That day really solidified our bond.

HEIDI: In Malibu we did the ropes course together. I hate heights and I said, “The only way I’m doing that is if Mal does it with me!”

HEIDI: (To Mal): I haven’t actually seen you [Mal] in so long, but that doesn’t matter at all. You will always be my family, and we’ll always have a deep, loving connection.

MAL: Our bond means so much to me. Heidi has been such an amazing person in my life since I met her, and I hope I represent the same for her.

 

Editor’s note: We think it’s mutual 😉

Find the friendship and connection that will re-ignite your life at Campowerment. Don’t wait: register now.

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Way-Fun Fact #26
Our scholarship foundation (Give Her Camp, Inc) is fueled by past campers (+ people who believe in this movement) who want to pay their experience forward.