The past week, I was at the best summer camp in the world; the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute. This camp is for high school students who are working to be tobacco, alcohol, and other drug free, are proud to be tobacco, alcohol, and other drug free, or just want to be an amazing leader. This was my 3rd year going and my first year as a Youth Advisory Council member (YAC). This year, it really hit me. All of the speakers were phenomenal as always.
Marlon Smith talks about random acts of kindness and how it’s OKAY to have to lean on someone for support. Even if you don’t know them. For all you know, they may need that support too.
Kevin Wanzer talks about having fun, ohana, and aloha. It’s all about the way you look at things. Don’t be negative and always answer in a positive way
Matt Bellace speaks about natural highs. The runners high. The high of laughter. Being in love with someone. There are all kinds of highs that you can get without using substances.
Dan Occhiogrosso takes basket ball, and makes it into an inspirational speech. He was rejected from basket ball, but he loved it so much so he turned it into something amazing for others.
Nora Gelperin makes sex education fun! She will answer any question you have and will not make it awkward! She teaches the important knowledge of STD’s and how fast they can spread.
Sean V. O'Beirne, Sr. teaches that you are lovable and capable in every single way. You can face your fears and that the people that want to be with you, will stay with you.
John Morello is my personal favorite speaker. He performs a one man show with 4 main characters. Somehow, all of these characters connect in way. This is important to me because it shows you that one thing that you do to yourself or someone else can really make a difference to the rest of someone else’s life.
It was so awesome for me to see the campers on Monday with the faces of “I’m too cool for this.” then on Friday afternoon, everyone is up out of their seats, doing cheers, different versions of the hamster dance, celebrating life, and having a great time. It was amazing to see the evolution in just 5 short days.
We came into this camp strangers, and life long friends.
We have inside jokes, secret hand shakes, and much more.
It all really hit me when we were at the candle light ceremony and everyone was crying and not wanting to end the night from blowing out the candle. Everything is so powerful there and I could literally go on forever about this, but I wont do that. If you got to the end of this post, thanks for reading this. It means a lot.