WELS Believes In Me.
Three hundred and sixty five days ago, I was shoved into this new life, one that I was unsure of, one that saves energy and changes lives. Something we call, WELS.
Through the course of time, as I’ve watched over 750 twelve year olds, I’ve changed from a shy, un-talkative teenage to a responsible young leader, I’ve lead many endearing camp songs, and have in fact sat through many sappy campfires, all while looking super cool while fighting my life through the glamorous elk skat and sword ferns.
Going into the week of March 19-22 I was not hyped at all, I just got back from Spokane were I was one of many Grahams surrounding the only grandma I ever knew soaking up every minuet knowing it could be her last. So instead of arriving with many hyperactive kids on a bus, I drove up. On my journey I just so happened to take a wrong turn landing myself in Seattle, to make a long story short I was in a crazy town balling my eyes out, having no idea were I was with a empty gas tank. And of course my parents weren’t answering their phones. A couple hours later I arrived, luckily in time to get my cabin of eight. I was somehow able to put my family problems on the back burner, and connected with all eight of my girls, and anyone who goes up to camp knows how much of an achievement that is. It finally came time to the all hike day and I tore a ligament in my ankle causing it to inflate into a softball, but I still hiked all over that 375 acres. It was all worth it, because when the time came and I told the cabin of A3 I had to leave early they looked at me and some started crying. I’ve learned not to expect much when your at camp, these kids are so young and they say and do the smallest things that they expect would fly over your head, but it stays with you for the rest of your life. For example, the week I was just talking about, there was this girl she would ask to go to the bathroom at least 10 times a day, and that’s a lot seeing how were only in the cabins to wash up for meals and to shower and sleep. So of course I’d say no and she always seemed annoyed at me, but when I told the cabin I was leaving she was the girl who was attached to my hip. Or the week I went up and my best friend and I finally got our cabin together, so we knew it was going to be great. Me and Alex both being hyper people played a game, to get the girls more talkative and less shy, lets just say the point of this game is to be loud. They all failed at screaming so we went in a circle having one scream at a time, when it got to the shyest girl in the cabin we made her scream over and over until she was screaming ninja material. In the last days of the school year, I got a letter from one of the girls, and the shy girl’s good friend, she was going on and on in this letter, you know nonsense sixth grader talk. towards the end she wrote: “… thank you for making Cirara yell she talks louder at school now.” Whenever I think about this week now I get bubblies in my tummy, all because I know I was apart in making this girl a little less shy.
I just realized I’ve been talking about this program and have yet to explain what WELS actually is, WELS stands for Waskowitz Environmental Leadership Semester, so for two whole semesters I was learning how to be the best leader I could be, because of this program I can say I’ve done things that many kids my age cant. It caused me to grow mentally and physically and I’ve meet the people who I’m closet to today. If I never did WELS I cant imagine who I’d be, just knowing that I’ve impacted someone’s life, and that I could be the reason for how they turn out in the future is remarkable. And because of this program it really made me want to pressure my dream in becoming a teacher.
With that said, I believe Waskowitz has a powerful place in this world.