- Consciousness of self and others
- Common Purpose
- Controversy with civility
After training throughout the year and the week before the first camp, I felt prepared with my facilitation and debrief techniques and with the skits and roles I played during activities. I really became closer with my partner, Taylor Gehrcke, and all the other facilitators as we worked day in and day out to make this camp an amazing experience for everyone.
I made mistakes but I had my successes. I had my valleys (or low parts of the day/camp) and I had my peaks (or high parts of the day/camp). I really understood the 7 C’s of the Social Change Model of Leadership and knew I wanted to live it out everyday as well as instilling it into my 6 campers of 2W. I truly believe it is something everyone lives out everyday but just doesn’t realize it. Taylor and I experienced an amazing group of juniors and seniors who were very educated and inspiring. We had a camper who left as he did not feel like this camp was right for him. This was one of the hardest things I experienced as I have never had a participant leave the event I was leading before. I tried connecting with him more one on one and even having him talk to the coordinators but nothing was changing his mind of leaving. This was very saddening but also very rewarding for our group seemed to only achieve greater and more challenging things. On the last day, we were able to help a local charity drive through the campus CNN organization. We sorted and organized every food item, household item, cleaning supplies, and clothes. This made a huge impact to see the difference from the beginning to the end after the 2 years of exactly what we did for this charity.
We had the outgoing extroverts and the internal introverts who only seemed to help each other and work better as a whole. The extroverts realized just how powerful the silence of another one is as well as the introverts learning the importance of speaking their mind as everyone had something thoughtful to say. Overall, my group seemed to really bond and be appreciative of the inclusive space Taylor and I created for them while being at CMU for 3 days. The truly see the importance of empowering themselves to make a change by having a stronger character and leadership ability.
The second and last camp of the year was so different than the first! First of all, my group was double the size of the last one. We didn’t have anyone leave early or during the camp either so that was a plus. We also had a very diverse group this time. I’m not just talking about from the surface aspect but from their personalities. There was every group of high school students represented in the group (cheerleaders, quiet ones, popular types, skater types, theatrical types, and everything in between). This was very beneficial for the group but also very hard as they had a lot of controversy. This required us to really work with them on how to handle their controversy with civility as they started to gossip of one another and say hurtful things behind their back. We sat them all down the last night and revisited our community standards they made the first day. Respecting each others opinions, having a good attitude, and other things were found to be broken. They all were able to express their problems and reevaluate the community standards further. I was able to pull one girl aside after it all and really comfort her as she felt she was being picked on for her choice of clothing or what she said. This allowed me to practice my empathy vs sympathy that we learned about during training.
2W volunteered at the Herrick Recreational Area the last morning by racking acorns and needles into piles, on tarps, and into trucks. They learned about charity vs change as one camper pointed out that although racking these acorn needles won’t make a change since they will just fall again next year, but that they are volunteering and giving back to the community in a time when they needed it.
Overall though, our group was great. I learned a lot about “endless support and love” from one camper specifically (something I plan on using for now on especially in a leadership position). I learned a lot about controversy with civility from the group and from my partner as we had also experienced during both camps. We were completely two different people with two different views on leadership and we butted heads multiple times. But this taught me a lot on how to work with others who are so different and use it as a strength. I also learned about remembering lines for commercials and being a MC for Mock Rock the second night of camp. This put me outside of my comfort zone as I don’t have the best memorization skills or how to act in front of a crowd of strangers. I loved every moment of being involved with LCAMP though because without it, I wouldn’t of met such amazing inspirational facilitators/coordinators and the campers who reassured me that their generation isn’t hopeless. I am planning on returning next year to continue my growth and learning with other leaders on campus.