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The process of maturing is never all at once, but the change can be demonstrated during one moment. The summer of my junior year I attended a scout camp where I was shown how much I have changed internally and externally. At this camp we did many adventurous activities like water skiing, scuba, high ropes courses, rock climbing, and hiking.

During the high ropes and our group reflection afterwards I was shown how I have fundamentally changed how I approach challenges.A few years ago I firmly believed that I was perfectly safe in my comfort zone and had no reason to leave. Before entering high school I had done little with my life. Then I met an amazing person who became and is my best friend, without him I would be living a very different life.

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The process of maturing is never all at once, but the change can be demonstrated during one moment. The summer of my junior year I attended a scout camp where I was shown how much I have changed internally and externally. At this camp we did many adventurous activities like water skiing, scuba, high ropes courses, rock climbing, and hiking.

During the high ropes and our group reflection afterwards I was shown how I have fundamentally changed how I approach challenges.A few years ago I firmly believed that I was perfectly safe in my comfort zone and had no reason to leave. Before entering high school I had done little with my life.

Then I met an amazing person who became and is my best friend, without him I would be living a very different life. The friend I made was completely different from me in almost every way, though somehow we complement each other. Unlike me he was raised in scouting and was practically fearless. He started dragging me with him on adventures and introduced me to a world I had never seen before. It was a slow adjustment because I was physically much weaker than him and terrified every step of the way. Neither of those two attributed have changed fundamentally since then, but I can say they have lessened significantly.

We both went to this scouting camp and I was challenged in a new way each day. On several of the days we did high adventure activities such as rock climbing and high ropes courses made of suspended cargo nets, tight ropes, and zip lines. I am still afraid of heights and fairly weak, but I tried again and again to do my best. Throughout the course of the camp I harnessed up, worked, fell, and pulled myself back up until my body was covered in rope burn, bruises, and muscle aches. No matter how many times I failed and fell I tried again. Often my fears and weakness left me shaking with pain and sobs, but I pulled myself together to trying again getting a little farther each time. This was not what showed me my change because this has become normal; it’s become part of me to tenaciously push forward. I realized this shift later during discussion.

At the camp we earned the Kodiak award for leadership; after each day we would discuss what could be done better. On the last night of the camp after getting back late from closing campfire, our whole group of fifteen people stayed up till two in the morning telling each other what we admire about them and how they have inspired us. I remember all of the things said vividly but two of the comments stuck with me. One of our leaders, who continues to inspire me each day, told me I was an informal leader. He described that there are two types of leaders in the world, the formal who are placed in positions to organize people and the informal who may not have the title but can rally people behind them. He also described that I probably could never know the amount that I influenced others at the camp to keep going simply because they watched me crash down repeatedly but rise up again with an infectious smile and try again. Later my friend who got me started in everything described back to me the person I was when we first met, shy and quietly smart but extremely uneventful. Before I met him I had never even ridden a bike, but now I have matured into a leader who pushes myself to be my best and works hard to get the most out of every opportunity given to me, especially when I’m afraid to do so.

By

Becky DeCusatis