The first experience that I am grateful for, is joining a summer camp as a counselor. Nestled in Tucker County West Virginia is Camp Horseshoe, a summer camp for children 6-18 as well as quilt camps, etc. throughout the year. I participated 3 summers in a row during college and received so much outpouring love and support from friends, coworkers, boss’s, and campers alike. This position really brought me out of my shell and introduced me to more ways of expressing myself. I considered myself very introverted before working here.
I also was able to learn basic upkeep of cabins, bathhouses, and kitchens. Staff were rotated to experience cleaning and running each portion of the camp and to gain appreciation for all staff members that keep the business up and running. A lot of the younger children that attended the camp in the summer come from not-so-pleasant home lives, and it is a blessing to be able to provide housing, food, and love for the time they reside with us.
Another experience, or experiences, that helped me grow was attending therapy for the first time and reading self help literature. It’s very easy to feel lost, but with both of these tools, I was able to determine why I act and react the way I do as well as ways to cope and correct it in order for me to live a happier, healthier life. So far, it has been extremely rewarding. I have been currently trying to apply what I’ve learned to my physical health and relationships as well.
The last experience I recommend for everyone is moving out of your hometown. Or at least traveling out of it. You can never learn other cultures unless you actually submerge yourself. It’s very interesting to see the different mannerisms, attitudes, societal structures, and history associated with different areas in the US and the world. I have lived in Michigan, West Virginia, Virginia, and now New Hampshire. I hold each place in my heart and appreciate what each place has taught me.
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