We woke up to a calm, chilly, and sunny morning. Some of us brushed our teeth while some others stretched and changed their clothes. After a good, hard routine of exercise and running, we were sent off to Leadership Hall where we had biscuits and gravy, yogurt, and assorted fruits. Yummy! Group B introduced their show after breakfast. Despite their effort, the staff gave a thumbs-down because they felt it was not enough to exceed their expectations. Group B gracefully accepted and went to work on another idea. Subsequently, Casper went to clean the bathrooms, Group C stayed in Leadership Hall to tidy up the cafeteria mess, and Group B and D went to their cabins to take care of any mess left. Next, another Camp Council!
We took our seats in Leadership Hall to see and hear any more news, nominations, and proposals. A proposal to elect a new banquet co-chairperson was offered and approved. Five contestants entered the competition and they are the following: Montana Murphy and Raquel Grindstaff, Nia Lazarus and Ryan Poindexter, Jenna Smith and Alanna Laughrey, Gina Curry and Isbella Natalie, and Chelsea Morris and Angel Ortiz. After an extensive discussion, we voted Jenna Smith and Alanna Laughrey to be our new co-chairpersons. Congratulations to them!
We renewed our energy by munching some appetizing ham and turkey sandwiches and chips. We left to our classes afterwards. Group C exited to Daily Drum, Group B and D switched OLS (Outdoor Living Skills) and Discovery Class, and Casper went to their Blog/Vlog class. We enjoyed our snack break, wolfing on trail mixes, beef jerky, yogurt, nuts, and fruits. During recreation, several of us chatted, others played basketball, and a handful of us wrote letters.
During dinnertime, we took off to Leadership Hall, where Group C graced us with their theatrical production. They called themselves “Tetris” and the show went fantastic. The staff debated for about fifteen minutes before approving the name, much to Tetris’s delight! As soon as Tetris got their play done, Group D stepped on the stage to show their performance presenting themselves as “Voltage”. After a brief ten-minute discussion by the staff, Voltage, the group name, was accepted! We then scrambled to get our mouth-watering Philadelphia “Philly” cheese steaks and luscious homemade French fries!
Sitting in a circle, we curiously looked at each other without any clue of what was going on. Bregitt Jimenez, Dean of Girls, and Mark Ramirez, Dean of Boys, announced that the original plan was changed. We were supposed to run the evening program tonight. They recognized that our bond as a team was not there yet, including trust and communication. Our unspoken feelings, emotions, secrets, and thoughts were bottling inside every of us. Bregitt and Mark opened up the discussion with goals and rules shared by us. We desired to have good feelings with each other and we agreed to promise each other that we were there to listen to each other without judging. As we established our goals and rules, Bregitt and Mark strongly encouraged us to share our thoughts and feelings to develop a stronger team and group dynamics.
At the beginning of the discussion, many of us were quiet and sitting still, however, our minds were racing with undeclared thoughts and maddening emotions. In the next moment, we started to express our feelings about getting to know each camper, besides our teammates and we want to leave YLC with good feelings. Some of us narrated how they got accepted into YLC and got thrilled with the news. Some of us thought that YLC was just a camp. However, when we got here, we realized that our views of YLC have changed so much in ten days. We were filled with various emotions that we feel like one big family and this is our second home.
This discussion was not just some discussion; this brought our memories, feelings, emotions exploding out. One camper mentioned that she was quiet and humble her whole life, but she has numerous sides that everyone had not seen. She was tired of being labeled as “boring” and she decided to come to YLC to improve herself and attempted to be more assertive. She was glad that she has friends here to find her fun, awesome side. One camper was from a mainstreamed school; she was accustomed of just facing one interpreter and does not have any friends in school. She came to YLC and she was not used to seeing everyone talking in ASL, but she quickly felt she belonged here. The most inspiring part was seeing some of us cry with pride and happiness, realizing that they can speak up for themselves and share how they felt.
After the group process, Chef Clint Woosley gave us ice cream to enjoy! We and the staff started to cherish each other more, making us one, big, happy family! That night was truly a night to remember.
This night was very emotional for every one of us. Some of us were crying and some of us were inspired, but every one of us were touched by the discussion tonight. One long, meaningful discussion brought us closer to each other. We learned a lot from each other and we feel comfortable expressing ourselves for the rest of the camp.