Reflections from the 2015 Teen Summit | Andrew D

Pictured above is Andrew D in the center with two other Summiteers, Andrew and Quinton.

This is the second installment in a series of reflections on the 4th annual Teen Summit.  

Andrew D is a 14 year old from New Jersey and was the 2014 Camp Essay winner.  This was his first year at the Summit and has taken on his new role on the Youth Leadership Council with gusto.  Andrew has been working on a video project for the YLC, already producing great results.  We look forward to seeing him next year!

By Andrew D

               For weeks I waited in anticipation for the day that the TU Teen Summit would begin. As school came to an end and summer began, the Summit became less of a thought of excitement and anticipation and much more of a reality. In no time at all, I was already leaving New Jersey for the long drive down to North Carolina for the Teen Summit. As my dad and I entered North Carolina for the first time, I was blown away by the beautiful Blue-Ridge Mountains, and amazing landscape. Watching the mist moving across the mountains and the sight from the top of the mountains is something I’ll always remember.

               The TU Teen Summit was an unforgettable experience for me. Every day was packed with speakers, demonstrations, group discussions, and plenty of great fishing. The overall experience was absolutely incredible and I learned so much about conservation and fly fishing. But most importantly I saw the importance of the Youth Leadership Council (YLC).  The mission statement of Trout Unlimited is “To conserve, protect and restore North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.” In order for that mission to be possible, we need the next generation of youth to understand and be involved in conservation. The youth are the future of conservation, and that’s where the YLC comes in. The YLC is the group of teens that gathers at the Teen Summit, and discusses the future for involving youth in conservation. Discussing the YLC at Summit this year, showed me the importance of the YLC and has inspired me to begin working to introduce and involve teens in my area back home.

               Some of my favorite moments from the TU Teen Summit were the quiet mornings on the water. Whether I was on a small mountain stream stalking wild brook trout or on the big river casting big streamers in the morning fog, I loved every moment of it.  I have always loved fishing in the early morning, but being in the mountains with other teens that shared the same passion made those mornings especially memorable. Leaving the Summit, I have gained key knowledge and confidence to bring what I learned in North Carolina back home to my community.


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