Around The Campfire with Planner Bootcampers

photo credit: keithcavey IMG_6945.jpg via photopin (license)


“Individual cultures and ideologies have their appropriate uses but none of them erase or replace the universal experiences, like love and weeping and laughter, common to all human beings.” 

― Aberjhani


Hello, friends and fellow sojourners … I am sharing a testimony from one of those who has journeyed with me for the very first Planner Boot Camp adventure I led. I know some of you may not know much about what I refer to as  PBC, but you will be able to appreciate the invisible presence that protected and guided this military leader to safety. My heart still aches as I get a glimpse into the heart of one of my fellow “planner people” and her journey toward hope.

Today, I’m inviting my 2017 Bootcampers as well as you who have stumbled onto this website from the wonderful and wild world-wide web now, to hear a powerful story. One that continues to humble me, and propel me on to offer this labor of love known as Planner Boot Camp.


Here is her story:


As you know my name is Lyndsay and I am a planneraholic. My need for organisation arose when I joined the Military as a Captain and had to be organised in order to run my troop. I found this very useful and felt that my life was better for it.

Anyway, moving forward 6 years,  I am in Afghanistan and have just lost 9 men to IEDs – (improvised explosive device) my life fell apart and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I had not followed what was written down in my orders book (what I called my planner back then) and had lost 9 men’s lives as a result.

I was sitting on the sand looking at my fellow brothers in arms and my world had shattered.

I was alarmed at first when I heard a voice shouting at me,  “Stand up!”

I kept looking around to see who was talking to me, but could not see a single person.

I had this overwhelming desire to do exactly what I was told, so I stood up and walked to a tree, where I sat down and began to hug my knees utterly distraught.

It was then that the IED I had been sitting on before hearing this loud but incredibly calm voice, detonated. I still do not know to this day who was speaking to me and ordering me to move from the spot I had sat in.

It was at this point I heard the helicopters coming to medi-vac us out of Helmand (Afghanistan) and I realized that my life in the Military had to stop. I got back to camp and handed my notice in and served the last 6 months of my career in a TA Base near where I live.

I blamed myself for the death of my 9 friends for years and have only recently come to terms with the fact that it was not my fault and that my Orders book had nothing to do with my decisions at the time.

It was at this moment my psychologist suggested I began using an Orders book again. So, I bought an Arc notebook (My planner).

I now know and understand that all I was trying to achieve by recording and planning every moment of my life in this little notebook that I was not actually doing anything with my life. My prior preparation and planning was brilliant, nothing was missed in the daily targets and goals and appointments, but I wasn’t letting myself give the best performance I could have done.

Thanks to your PBC, I have started to draw, write poetry and paint again. My planner is more organised and I tend to write things in after they have happened also – such as the weather and my mood for the day. I have also gone back to using my Filofax – something I never thought I would do!

I think if people knew my story they would worry a little less about planning their day to the second and not actually achieving anything and do more with their lives.


*Names are changed as requested by the Bootcamper. All stories are shared with permission.


Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is a life enthusiast who loves to juggle words, chug coffee, and journal excessively. You can find her gathering stones on the beach most mornings. She enjoys hanging out with her hubby, daughter and family pets in Narragansett, RI and shares her passion, poetry and prose @Enthusiastically, Dawn.

3 thoughts on “Around The Campfire with Planner Bootcampers

  1. Wow! What a powerful story. A great lesson for all to learn. Kinda smacks you in the face and makes you sit up and take notice. Thank you so much for sharing!


  2. That was such a great story I really needed to hear it. I found myself struggling with my own planner well just organization period when it came to my planner. I’m so thankful to be part of PBC for this 3rd go around. I will remember this story when I do feel myself getting overwhelmed with things. Thank you for sharing Dawn.


  3. Thank you Dawn for sharing L. story and to L. for allowing us to read it. If there was ever a story that God is Real this is it. HE certainly was with you L. on that day. Thank you L. for your service. There are times when I do not have words to express my heart, and this is one of them. ❤


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