Like most of the people I have had the pleasure of meeting at CGTI, I started my journey as a participant. The first year I was welcomed to camp, I was confused by the overwhelming kind Volunteer Staff, I was nervous about making new friends and I could not wait for the week to be over. However, these feelings of doubt only lasted for that first day. By the end of my first week the contagious energy and joy of those around me made me wish to never leave.
That’s why when I reached the age of deciding whether I should become Staff or not, I decided that it was time for me to transition from a participant to Staff.
This can be difficult especially when you have peers that are younger than you. For me, I had to learn how to balance leadership with friendship. In order to have the most productive camp, it is important to have authority with kindness. What I mean by this is that even though you may be the same age as others who aren’t on Staff, there are times when you have to make sure that everyone stays on track. Even with the responsibilities, being a leader brings so much joy. Being able to watch others find their voice and become more sure in themselves is incredible.
If you are on the fence about continuing to be a part of CGTI by joining Staff next year here are a few benefits.
•Life long friendships
•Gaining a sense of purpose
•Speaking & Communication skills
•Learning to delegate
Being a part of Volunteer Staff is incredible opportunity and journey. Ask a Staff member this Summer about what part of the experience is important to them and consider applying in 2024!
I will be finished with my last year of high school in 9 weeks. I will graduate in 72 days. I will be starting college in 164 days. Those facts all make me very excited and nervous all at the same time. Leaving for college can be scary but I also know that it’s going to be a fun new experience for me. I also draw comfort from the fact that I will only be an hour away from home. Another thing that helps me feel more prepared for meeting so many new people is my experiences with CGTI and Operation Snowball. In college, I will be studying Early Childhood Education to earn my bachelor’s degree. I am hoping that my experiences with CGTI will help me in my area of study. Leadership qualities that I have been able to improve at CGTI will be a tremendous asset to my studies and future career.
Attending CGTI Events has let me make a variety of new friends and I hope that the skills I have learned at making new friends will transfer over to college as well. Introducing yourself to someone new can seem really scary but a majority of the time they are trying to work up the courage to introduce themselves to someone new as well. Everyone wants to make connections in a new place to feel at home, so being too scared only delays the feeling of comfort. The advice that I am giving myself as I finish my senior year and get ready to start college is to always remember that you may regret chances you don’t take. So my point is to go big and hope for the very best while stepping out of your comfort zone.