Being a Leader with WMW
In life, some people have the attributes of leadership. Leaders know when to take charge of a situation while taking matters into their own hands. Through past experiences, I have come to the realization that I have the characteristics of a leader. This summer while volunteering as a counselor for a local camp, I learned many valuable lessons I will take with me throughout life. Stand up is a camp that offers a safe space for elementary and middle school girls to make new friends, and learn more about the current pressures of society and themselves. With the initiative of the counselors, each week ran smoothly by creating a positive environment with teamwork and organization. As a leader, I was able to empower young girls by managing many of the activities and learning the importance of flexibility.
This past summer, one activity I lead affected me in a new way. During the media literacy week, I was volunteered to create an activity for the girls. Therefore, I did some research about the dove commericals and created my own activity based on the “selfie” video. Titling my activity, “We are Beautiful”, I had each camper go home and take a natural selfie without any makeup. Then, I printed out each selfie placing it on the wall. Next, I had each girl walk in the room with sticky notes asking them to write one nice compliment about each picture on the wall, including their own. It was an eye-opening experience for me to see how ecstatic each girl was as she read all the compliments on her “all natural selfie.” But, I noticed how hard it was for the campers to write a compliment for themselves. So, my lesson afterwards consisted of the importance of natural beauty and of having the ability compliment oneself. I also tried convincing to these girls that we are all unique and beautiful in our own ways. In addition, the success of this activity, that I constructed and lead, gave me a humbling feeling that I was passing my knowledge onto these girls making a difference in their lives.
Another situation this summer showed me that leadership comes with the need for flexibility. At the end camp, Ashley had decided to throw the counselors an end-of-the-summer party for all of our hard work. It was originally going to be outside in the courtyard so the guests, live music, and caterers could have enough room. However, as the party began to approach, one of the worst thunderstorms of the summer decided to occur at the same time. So, without any hesitation all the counselors, including myself, sprang into action finding an alternative location and making sure all the decorations were put into place in time. But, after a few hours of decorating, we started to realize that the air conditioning was not working and would not go below eighty degrees. As a leader, I did not give up, I had to keep everyone positive so the night would still be a celebration. Due to positive energy, as the night went on and the guests began to show up, all the obstacles we had faced seemed to be solved. As the parents were proud to see our accomplishments and the younger guests were smiling and running around, Ashley had been proud at how all of us kept our composure behind the scenes. I learned that the night would not have been successful unless I took the responsibility of a leader, focusing on the positive aspect of the night. Through this experience, I discovered that one of the most important qualities of leadership is being able to improvise when things do not go as planned. I had been filled with satisfaction that this night truly became memorable.
Volunteering my time this summer at the camp, Stand Up, taught me the importance of leadership and need for flexibility. The “We are Beautiful” activity gave me a humbling feeling as I was passing my knowledge onto the campers. It showed me that I possess qualities of a leader. Seeing the smiles of those girls and knowing that I will be making a difference in their summer truly made me want to start giving my time for others. I found that as I changed these girls, they ultimately changed me. On the other hand, the day of the leader party showed me that with taking a responsibility of leaderships comes the need for creativity and quick thinking. With all the setbacks of the party, on behalf of myself and the counselors, we all took the obligation of making sure the night was still memorable. To conclude, this past summer showed me I have the ability to lead. The humbling feeling of becoming a part of the camper’s lives made me realize my passion for leadership. I will continue to seek out these opportunities.