Monday, March 12, 2018


Hey guys, it's Dodge.

It's been a crazy winter trying to settle into camp and figure each other out, but I think the group is finally coming together.  I took a new way down the mountain and found an abandoned kayak near a Big Creek. Our compass got pretty beat up during the last storm, but it worked enough to get me to a place that has cell reception again. Sam said I should update our blog from a library, but I don't trust adults enough to let me be. Knowing them, they'd probably see a scraggly kid in ripped-up jeans and call the cops. I'd rather just use the last of my battery to update you from here. It has 11%, so here goes.

Rishawn asked me the other day if I ever get lonely still. I kinda brushed him off because I didn't feel like getting that deep with anyone that day. But the truth is, sometimes I can be in the middle of a crowd of people and still feel lonely. I'm not sure how that happens. The same thing used to happen when I was at parties, too. Everyone would be talking, sometimes even to me, and I'd still feel invisible.

I don't know where that comes from. Maybe it's from never having a family to be seen by. That's what parents are supposed to do, right? Make you feel important? If they don't, then where do we get it from? Teachers or coaches, maybe. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. I knew a lot of kids that would fill in the holes by hanging out with the rougher crowd. You know, like those idiot Squawkers.

I've felt seen a few times by the staff at Rez. Some of them were ridiculous and wouldn't know "nice" if it hit them in the face. But some other folks had a better handle on what we needed. I guess the most seen I've ever felt is Sam, Mikayla, and Rishawn. It's crazy what being stuck with these kids has done to me. It's opened me up and made me start to trust a tiny bit. If we can't practice safety with each other, then who the hell can we do it with, right? You might feel the same way in your situation. Feeling connected, but still cautious, with kids around you. IDK.

If that is the case, I say go for it. Make sure they're solid people and you'll be gold. Theory told us recently that we need to "surround yourselves with people that are going to build you up, bot suck energy out of you. Look at who gives you energy and who takes it away. Then make sure you're with the givers." I've been lucky to find some givers, but it's taken time...and some vulnerability on my part.

Anyway, just letting you know I get it. The group says "hi" and we are planning a wildflower hike soon. They said we should cross the ridge backs and explore a new site for another camp. I'll post a piece of the map so you have a general idea of where we'll be.
Leave a comment and let us know how you're doing. We'll be back down the mountain soon to check on everyone. Hang tight and know that you can survive this part.

Dodge & The OC

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hello, World.

Hello, to every kid, teen, and grown-up that has a past. My name is Sam and I am part of The Orphan's Collective. We are a group of kids from broken homes that ended up in residential placement, then decided to take the meaning of "family" into our own hands. We wrote the Orphan's Manifesto and will be checking in with you sometimes to see how you're all doing.

Right now, we are still at our camp at Lake Isabel. It's been rainy and cold there, but Dodger and Rishawn have figured out how to build a solid shelter for us. We had salmon for dinner last night and Mikayla patched up the canoe for more fishing this week. I ran down the mountain and back into the city to update our new blog from a library computer. This is how we will keep in touch with you, for now...

We know you have a story to tell. Have you read ours yet? Let us know what you thought and keep in touch. There is so much more to come...


To every kid that has ever felt like they were the only ones going
through it- we are here to let you know that you aren’t. We
know about your pain and know that hope exists to fight through
it. Look toward one another and give yourselves what we all missed
out on growing up. We are coming for you, and know that you
need help now. Keep these truths close to you until we can reach

• You are worthy of love and kindness, especially when you
don’t believe that you are.
• Do your best to treat every person around you with grace
and kindness, because they all have their own stories they
are struggling to survive.
• You are responsible for, and capable of, defining your own
• Use your pain to understand others around you, your anger
to empower each other, and your loneliness to create
• Only surround yourself with people that will challenge you
in healthy ways and encourage you to be the best version of


This is Sam, signing off with our "OC" signature. Look for it around town and in the trees. Hang in there, warriors.