It’s a night one little girl from Southey, Sask. will never forget.
On Sunday, Camille Baragar was invited up on stage by country music superstar Garth Brooks. The 11-year-old was serenaded and told it’s better to love somebody than hate somebody.
“It was amazing,” said her mom, Connie. “It was overwhelming. I don’t know that there was many dry eyes in the house.”
It’s been a difficult year for Camille. Her mom said she was bullied throughout her Grade 6 year and people made fun of her weight.
I just heard her say, ‘I love you Garth Brooks,’ and I started crying.– Garth Brooks
So, Connie decided to spring for tickets and take her daughter to see her musical hero as a way to cheer her up.
Camille went to the dollar store and bought art supplies to make a poster. She wrote “Bullied But Not Broken” on the sign as a message of hope for anyone who was in her situation.
However, when people started streaming into Mosaic Stadium, the family immediately noticed a big problem. Camille was too far back to see the concert, and certainly too far away for Brooks to see her poster.
Her mom asked a security guard if her daughter could stand in the aisle to see better. When the guard saw what was on the poster, she was immediately taken to the front row of the concert.
“The people around us just screamed his name and pointed and then finally he looked,” said Connie. “And it’s at that moment she knew he was going to sing for her.”
Brooks told Camille he had three daughters and he knew what she was going through.
“He went into a little kind of speech as almost not a celebrity,” she said. “Almost, like a dad figure.”
The country music singer sang her favourite song, “Standing Outside The Fire” and gave her a hug.
A video of the emotional meeting was shared on Facebook and watched more than 83,000 times as of Tuesday morning.
“I think this has completely changed her,” said Connie. “She’s got a spring in their step and a sparkle in her eye again and she just — she’s just different. And I really truly believe she can take his message of what he said to her and go forward with it.”
In a post-concert video, Brooks said Camille reminded him of his youngest daughter.
“She came right into my arms,” said Brooks. “I just heard her say, ‘I love you Garth Brooks,’ and I started crying.”
Connie said her daughter learned an important lesson from the event.
“We’ve always told her, we can’t change the way people think about you but we can change the way we react to them,” she said. “So, if they knock you down, you can go back to them with a compliment, and I think that was Garth’s message.”