Oregon Association of Student Council (OASC) Summer Camp 2015 was one of the most amazing experiences I have had in my life. I would not have been able to take part in this incredible event if the Roundhouse Foundation had not given me their support, thank you. Roundhouse gave me the opportunity to grow and better myself as an individual and team player.
OASC not only taught me how to be comfortable outside my comfort zone, it taught me to thrive outside it. Through this experience, I was able to break the boundaries that I had set up for myself throughout my life. I let people, whom were complete strangers the first day, into my life in ways I have not with people whom I have known for years. My fourteen-person council has turned into my family, best friends, and a group of individuals who will love and support each other for the rest of our lives.
I have been to other leadership camps in the past. They all taught me tips and tricks on how to lead a group, become a team player, and become a positive part of a group setting. OASC approached leadership from a completely new perspective. They taught leadership through improving each individual. Through that, we are able to lead more effectively, in new ways, and be a positive part of group because we are more confident in ourselves. They taught us how to recognize and cherish each person’s uniqueness and strength. Once you can identify that, you can work cohesively and effectively as a group without taking a tyrant role. OASC exceeded every expectation, far beyond anything I ever thought was possible.
I absolutely, one hundred percent, would recommend this camp to anyone who has the opportunity to attend. I actually think it should be a graduation requirement. It is an environment that life does not just “offer” through experiences. It opens your mind to new ways of thinking and looking at the world. Coming from such a small town, you do not get to see much diversity or interact with people from all over in the way that OASC provides.
One event from the week stands out among them all for the representation of how special OASC is. On the very last night before our huge banquet dinner, the whole camp grabs their blankets and pillows, and meets in the big classroom. This was the final class of the camp, “Reflections of a Leader”. We were given a packet that we were walked through step-by-step reflecting on our lives, people in it, goals, aspirations, fears, leaders, our week, etc. Then we were handed four sheets of paper. We wrote to four different people in the room, thanking them and telling them what they meant to us. Then, we had to go look into their eyes and read it to them. When does that happen in real life? When do you get to look into a persons eyes, tell them thank you and what they have done for you? It was an incredibly powerful and heart-fulfilling experience of truly telling someone in person what he or she means to you.
This gift of support the Roundhouse has given me has both changed and confirmed the way I envision my future. It changed because I know I will be staying involved with the organization in any way I can (intern, junior councilor, etc.). It also confirmed that I am a good leader and I will be able to be one throughout my future endeavors. It confirmed I can succeed outside my comfort zone and when thrown in tough spots I will be able to figure something out positively.
The skills and experiences I gained from OASC are extremely positive in my life and will be in my community too. OASC taught me to give back to my community in ways I never thought of before, to think about people in a new light, and to approach situations differently. I am the president of the SHS Interact Club and will be able to put all of these things into the school and community. As a senior heading into college, OASC taught me to think on my feet and become mentally tough. These skills I feel will be invaluable in college and beyond.
Thank you for all of your support and giving me this life changing opportunity. I will be forever grateful.