By: Shlomo Weinstein
After watching Super Bowl 48 with my Kids of Courage family I couldn’t help notice the similarities between the Seahawks and K.O.C.. After last year’s heartbreak defeat in the playoffs in Atlanta, the Seahawks did what all of the other 31 teams do, try to get better. So, their 62-year-old coach, who you would actually think is 42 with his cool laid back personality, went back to the drawing board to find what was missing from his team and what would propel them to the Super Bowl. Coach Carroll sent out his scouts to all the colleges and to all the free agents to find the missing players that would make his team a champion. After adding some pieces here and there, and after all his acquisitions were in place, he looked up and said, “Let’s play some ball.”
The Seahawks were as complete of a team as any that have been assembled in NFL history. They had 9 Pro Bowlers with great weapons, helping the squad score on offense, defense and special teams, which equals to a total team effort. There is no I in Seahawks!
Kids of Courage is built the same way (albeit we do have the letter “i” in our name). We need everyone and everything to be firing on all cylinders to have a successful event or trip. Our fearless leaders — Dr. D and Howie Kafka (ages will be left out) — have that young spirit, but yet know when it’s time for business. After every event or summer trip, they go back to the drawing board and find the missing pieces that would make K.O.C. even better than it already is. So, they too send out their scouts (or as we call them ‘Division Heads’) to find the best staff and to make sure the young adults, teenagers and kids have the time of their lives.
The average age of the Seattle Seahawks team is 26.4 years and most of them are in their rookie or second year, but they do have some veterans that have been on the team for awhile and have been through the rebuilding years. Personally, I have the privilege of saying I am one of the veterans of K.O.C. having been a part of this organization from its inception in 2009 when we went to LA and wore our very fancy grey t-shirts. I could never have imagined this organization growing from forty staff members and one coach bus to over 200 staff members and six coach buses. I have seen staff and campers come and go, but the constant that has always remained has been the awesomeness of K.O.C. Just have a look at what took place at this year’s K.O.C. Super Bowl party: A very generous family opened up their home for all of us to enjoy. There was nosh, Hapina Grill, decorations and even two different colored t-shirts representing the teams playing. All the while everyone is having fun, the head staff is making sure everyone has a ride to make it back home.
That is why K.O.C. — with God’s help — is so successful. It’s due to the generosity of the public, the dedication of the head staff and the organization’s counselors. We too need all the phases to work cohesively. The logistics are just as important as counselors who are just as important as the medical staff. If your offense is a juggernaut but your kicker misses the go ahead field goal (wiiiide right!!!) in the waning seconds and you lose, then at the end of the day all you are is a losing team. You win as a team and you lose as a team.
Monday morning, not even twelve hours removed from the biggest game of life, Coach Carroll already was thinking about next year and how to make a champion into a dynasty. I am positive that after this year’s Super Bowl event, the K.O.C. Head Staff went back into the war room to discuss the next adventure and how to make it even more epic. Coach Carroll’s next step to making that dynasty is by drafting and recruiting the right players that fit his system. Around this time of the year is when our Division Heads go out for interviews and to recruit the next crop of staff members for this year’s events and trips.
So, if you are reading this article and want a new lease on life and experience an amazing time, then go to Kidsoc.org and apply. Maybe you will be that missing link that takes this organization from a champion into a dynasty!