CLTC is a special place. In this environment, we are taught how to become leaders. As a leader, you have to make choices you don’t always want to make. These decisions can affect not only yourself, but others as well. My experience at CLTC was unique, as I had to make decisions based on my actions, which were far from my control. Within the first few days of camp, I dropped my phone on a wall. Yes, you heard that right, a wall. My phone, once in my grasp, was gone, and I didn’t know if it would ever come back. I was left phoneless for the coming week. During that time, I was the happiest I’ve ever been. Eventually, I got my phone back. After reflecting, I realized truly how much time I was spending on my phone. This is one of the many lessons I learned at CLTC. Leading me to the topic of today: Top ten lessons I learned at CLTC:
1. Make sure to make friends with people who don’t drain you.
When you’re around people for so long, at times, it can be hard to deal with everything at once. Think about it, sleepovers are so fun, but there comes a point when sometimes you need a break. At camp, there are no breaks. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with people that lift you up and don’t drain out all your energy. My amazing coordinator Eden, once told me to surround myself with people that I can have comfortable silence with. People that you can sit in a room with and not talk to, but are still comforted by. Even though I’m social and love to talk, sometimes being quiet is important for resetting and being more aware of the space around you.
2. Live in the moment.
If you have the chance to leave your phone, leave it. At the beginning of camp, I had my phone, and when I had it, I couldn't get off of it. After dropping my phone on the wall, I learned that having space away from my phone is important. There’s only so much time at camp; all you need is there. So next time you think of bringing your phone, leave it and try to live in the moment instead.
3. Shower every day. Like seriously.
First of all, if you’re not showering every day, what are you doing? SHOWER. Not only is it so relaxing and a time you can spend reflecting on your day, you need to shower. You are in the middle of the woods. If you don’t shower, you will smell, so please, I’m begging you, shower.
4. Don’t worry about what other people think. If they are actually judging you for who you are, it’s not worth being friends with them anyway.
This is something I’ve always told myself. I always believe your friends are meant to be your friends. Whether they are in your life to teach you something or are meant to be in your life forever, there’s a reason you are friends with them. Don’t surround yourself with people who judge you; those are not your friends. At camp, I felt like I was constantly telling people that. You are unique; if someone doesn’t want that in their life, that’s fine. Be yourself, though. You need to be you for yourself, not for anyone else.
5. You’re gonna die one day; who cares?
Everyone ends up in the same place. I know sometimes thoughts of death can be scary for some people, but for me, it’s comforting. Knowing that one day I won’t be here, I have to make every day count. That doesn’t mean I have to tire myself out, but living my life and allowing myself to be impulsive sometimes can be fun.
6. You don’t have to be perfect all the time. Making mistakes is okay.
As teenagers, we often think when we make mistakes, it’s the end of the world. But mistakes are part of growing up. Think about it, if you never pooped your pants as a child, you would have never been potty trained. If you never made a mistake, how would you know it’s wrong? Yes, screwing up sucks. But what’s important is how you respond to screwing up. Be humble, accept your mistakes, and move on.
7. Respect each other
I have never liked gossip. There is no good that can come of it. Why would you talk about other people's problems? I feel like people who talk about other people's problems are either distracting themselves from their own problems or have nothing going on in their lives. Before you think to talk about someone, think how it would affect the person you’re talking about. It’s okay to stop yourself mid-sentence if what you were gonna talk about was someone else. Another thing to think about is if all you do is gossip to your friends, are the people you’re talking to really your friends? I mean all you talk about is other people.
8. Practice gratitude
Something we talked about a lot at CLTC was gratitude. Appreciating all that you have in your life, there is so much to be grateful for. Even if it’s just one thing you’re grateful for every morning, keeping a positive mindset in your everyday life is so important.
9. Respect others space
At camp you’re living with 10-20 people in your cabins. You have your own bed, but that’s kinda the only space that’s yours. Everything else is shared. Whether it’s setting early alarms or moving your clothes around, be mindful that there are other people living with you. Don’t touch something that’s not yours and ask before you use something that’s someone else’s.
10. Find something you're passionate about
At CLTC, we had so many different things we got to learn about. Whether it was budgeting or promotion or Press Corps, we learned all about different aspects of BBYO. For some people BBYO is their passion. It doesn’t have to be yours, but by finding something you’re passionate about you get to dig deeper and learn more about yourself and your capabilities than ever before.
Kylee Garfield is a BBG living in Redondo Beach and has never been stung by a bee.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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