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There was a young boy named Neil

A poem read by Neil’s parents at his going away party in 2011.

There was a young boy named Neil
Who lived under a curse.
His school was like torture;
The kids there were worse.
He shoved his Mom and he fought with his Dad;
He wouldn’t say what was wrong; he couldn’t tell why he was sad.

Off to Forest Heights he went with a tear,
The staff at the Lodge said, “Never fear!”
When he spit and he swore,
Jim and Linda said, “Neil may behave like a bore,”
(That’s B-O-R-E)
“But we know he belongs here.”
“We’ll teach him to trust us and more.”

After three years, we see a new Neil,
Who loves Forest Heights, the Glen and the Dunes.
Who works hard and plays hard, is funny and smart.
He’s confident in school; on the slopes he’s way cool.
He knows how to have fun, and he’s made some good friends.
He’d be happy to stay here (maybe not?), but it’s come time to part.

How to thank all those who helped Neil to grow?
The dogs and the cats, the staff and the friends,
The ones we never met, and the ones we well know.
The staff who retired, and the staff who are new,
All those who have stuck with him,
The tried—that’s for sure—and the true.
For all of you we wish the gifts we have gained.
Happiness and hope for the future, some sadness in leaving,
Feelings that just are, feelings for healing.

Now there’s a young man named Neil.
Who thinks through his choices using the tools he has found.
We know they’ll be good choices, and he’ll make us proud.
When we come to a problem, we’ll talk it out loud.
Neil is off to a new school and new friends; he has places to go.
Will we remember the Lodge fondly?,  Yes!  How could the answer be no?


Forest Heights Lodge has been serving kids and families for over 60 years.