Reflections from the 2015 Teen Summit | Andrew C

Andrew C attended the Tri-State Youth Camp in Virginia and placed in the camp essay contest.  This was his first year at the Summit.  This meaningful reflection from Andrew C signifies the power that the YLC holds for its members.  

By Andrew C     

     Before the Summit, I expected a week filled with different conservation speakers and a lot of fishing, but the Summit was much more than that. Of course, there were many great speakers who taught us about the Blue Ridge Mountains and what they do in the conservation world, and of course we did lots of fishing, but for me, what I thought was really valuable about the Summit was connecting with other teen conservationists. 

            So far, I have not been able to find other TU teens in my area, so I was blown away when I got to the Summit and met so many. Throughout the week we all had a great time fishing together, but we also spent a lot of time talking about conservation and TU. It was great. We could talk to kids from across the country about how their chapters operated and how they fit in as teen members, bounce ideas around about how to get more teens involved in TU, and learn from each other. 

            At the end of the week, our final activity was a whole group brain storming session where we outlined the YLC’s  objectives for the upcoming year. We came up with some great ideas, split up into groups to plan them out, and then divided into groups that would work to complete our different initiatives in the upcoming year. This session was great. We came out of it with a great plan on how to move forward, but on a more personal level I came out feeling empowered. I felt like I could actually make a difference. That motivated me then, and it still motivates me to continue my work with TU and the YLC, so I can help make a difference. Meeting so many other TU teens made me realize that we, as teens, can make a difference to protect cold-water rivers.


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