When I was in the eighth grade, I was like most middle schoolers: angsty, tired, and annoyed with anything that presented itself as a challenge. However, this dull version of myself had a wake-up call in the summer of 2015.
My mom had decided to surprise me by signing me up for LIT, Calleva’s “leaders in training” program. At first, I was against the idea, but this viewpoint changed after one short week. LIT was definitely one of the hardest adventures of my life, but it was also a chance I will never regret taking.
The first few days of LIT were nothing short of interesting. I was surrounded by strangers, but we all were looking for the same thing; we were looking for peace within ourselves. The counselors and campers alike shared their insecurities, fears, and memories. Never in my life had I felt so connected to such a diverse group of people.
Through endless outdoor activities, pounds of sunscreen, and sharing with the smartest boys and girls I’ve ever met, my middle schooler mentality shifted for the better. In just one week, I had discovered more about myself than I ever knew previously. I started to understand where the storm clouds of my life came from, and trust me, I started appreciating hot showers more than ever before.
To this day, I still have the journal I kept at LIT on my bedside table. It is full of my complaints, my biggest laughs, and names of people my mind will never get rid of. I started journaling because of Calleva and haven’t stopped since. If you’re considering whether or not this program is a good idea for you or a loved one, take this from an LIT graduate. I have never looked back on my experience with regret, only with gratefulness, pride, confidence, and strength. LIT helped me form the leadership skills I still use today and become the person I always admired in my mind.
~ Brooke Bedell – LIT graduate