Samuel Roberts’ Avalon Story
For me, Avalon is more than just work. As a young boy my parents started Avalon but before Avalon could open we had a lot of work to do. In the beginning the building that is now the Petersboro adolescent facility was simply put, an empty shell. The basement was completely bare cement with the exception of one finished bathroom, which means that we had to do the finishing work ourselves. I remember as a five-year-old boy doing my best to help my father carry down the buckets of mud we would use to coat the concrete walls. Each bucket weighed as much or more than I did, and it was all I could muster to get them down the stairs to where we were working. Mind you as I was five so my memory may be a little hazy but I swear it seemed like we carried hundreds of buckets down the stairs. Fortunately, I did have the fun job of mudding the walls. Which for a little boy there probably isn’t anything as fun as being able to play with mud, and for me to help my dad with his work.
I remember the first client that Avalon admitted in and when my parents hired the first few employees; to me each one of them was like an aunt or uncle and each new client was like getting a new sibling. Especially due to me having the opportunity of living and growing up with them. During a typical day at Avalon I would wake up when the morning shift came in at 6 am, then help wake the girls up. After we would all get ready for the day together we would eat breakfast. Once we had finished breakfast, maintenance or equine staff had usually arrived for the day and I would split up my day following them around doing my best to help them out as well as I could.
Weekends were the best no matter the season due to always being able to do fun activities with the clients. I particularly liked camping and canoeing with the clients because the girls often were out of their element and seemed to not enjoy some of the activities in the beginning but by the end I almost always had the chance to see them smile. Even if it was for just a moment, it was still a smile. Going out and doing the activities and seeing the life in the girls made me so happy because I felt that by helping with the activities I was a part of making their experience here at Avalon and their treatment process just a little easier.
Sure, there are days where I would rather stay home but I always remember just why I get up and go to work every morning. I do it because I feel that I am a part of a bigger picture; "Treat to outcome" which means doing the very best you can for a lasting recovery. To me this is what makes Avalon different, it isn’t just about the treatment today but also about the treatment tomorrow for a lasting recovery. I work at Avalon because I believe what I do truly makes other people’s lives just a little easier and more pleasant. For me my work at Avalon is different because it's more than a place that you clock-in every morning and clock-out every afternoon. At Avalon it's a family of people from many backgrounds where we have come together as a community to accomplish one goal. Treatment to outcome. Because of the unity that we have here at Avalon it is my home and it always will be.
- Samuel Roberts