Ode to L.L. Bean

from In the Arena with Bridget


Growing up in Ohio, I had a good life,
We didn’t have extra things but had little strife.
We had simple toys and hand-me-down clothes,
But trips and experiences were what my parents chose.
We didn’t stay in resorts or shop for nice things,
But saw lots of beauty and were happy as kings.

Our gear was old and worn out but mostly suited us fine,
However, safety and warmth were where my parents drew the line.
They knew if they chose right, we’d be covered for good,
One quality piece that could suffice in snow, desert, or woods.

L.L.Bean was the place that they chose,
A trusty fleece that would warm us from our head to our toes.
They knew that this company would pass all the tests,
Time, durability, and appearance- outdoing the rest.

And test it we did in the snow, trail, river, sea.
Looking back, we were living how L.L. Bean said to be.
Family comes first, enjoy nature with awe,
Be kind to others and hold the Golden Rule as law.
They’ve grown and they’ve changed but they never forgot,
The ones who first loved them and gave them a shot.
These experiences shaped me into who I am today,
These values and memories with me forever will stay.
And now that I’m grown, I’m chasing my dreams.
I need gear and support that won’t bust at the seams.
I need people that care, who I can put my trust in,
I need help from community in order to win.
My quest takes energy, focus, and time.
But like L.L. Bean, I know the result is not only mine.
I work hard everyday and try for my best,
But on my own, its tough to fill in the rest.
Even before I could see it, others knew,
That I could be great as I strengthened and grew.
They’ve lifted me up and helped when I was in need.
How could I possibly thank those that first believed?
Last year I was down, not sure I’d get through,
In the Arena showed up with a tight, loyal crew.
They had the same dream that I carried around,
But knew the community was what kept them wound.

Like LL Bean we do what we do best,
Building strong muscles, and eating good, and rest.
But beyond gold and medals there’s a higher quest,
the strength of our character remains the true test.

In the Arena has always taken the long view on our work. We’re involved in children’s lives today so that their tomorrows can be that much more dynamic. By intervening early, we aim to deliver to our program participants the tools they need to navigate their lives with self-grown confidence and a durable sense of their own character.
L.L. Bean is a maker, too. It’s no small part of the reason we are so honored to partner with them. And like In the Arena, L.L. Bean is focused on delivering enduring tools to maximize its customers’ enjoyment and exploration of the world — today and tomorrow, season after season.

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