Gender – Male
Position(s) Applying For – Junior Counselor (Open to anyone who has attended RYLA as a camper)
Year Participated in RYLA – 2017
Times You’ve Served as Junior Counselor – 1
Home Phone – 308.430.3775
Work Phone – 
Cell Phone – 
College Phone –
E-mail – [email protected]
City, State – Chadron, NE
School City, State – Cambridge, MA
Why do you want serve in the positions you’ve selected?
I want to serve as a Junior Counselor at RYLA for several reasons. First, my experience at RYLA was truly one of a kind and extremely transformative, and that all started for me because of my Junior Counselor, Kiersten. The connection and bond that Kiersten and I made over that week continues even to today, a year and a half after I attended RYLA. This connection makes me want to become a Junior Counselor and create those bonds with my own group members. Second, because RYLA helped transform me so much and had such an incredible impact on my life, I want to be able to give back to the program in any way that I can. I feel like serving on the staff at RYLA as a Junior Counselor and continuing to provide the same experience I had at RYLA for more individuals would be one of the best ways I could give back to the program. The third reason I want to be a Junior Counselor is because I have a yearning to impact the lives of those around me in any way possible. I love giving back and being able to genuinely connect with someone, and serving as a Junior Counselor would be an absolute honor and one of the best ways I can think of to achieve my goal to impact other’s lives.
How has your experience as RYLA participante impacted you?
My experience at RYLA has impacted me in innumerable ways. Saying that RYLA was truly a transformative experience for me is not an overstatement. From facing my fears on the high course ropes to trusting my group members in the team-building events, RYLA made me more confident in my own abilities and more appreciative of the abilities of my peers. The incredible connections I made with every member of my group have continued to today and shown me that genuine friendship is more important than any superficial item we can have in this world. By forcing me to put myself out there and meet new individuals quickly, RYLA made my group’s bond even stronger and made me more confident and outgoing around new individuals. RYLA also showed me the impact any gesture can have. For example, although the service projects at RYLA may seem like small tasks, such as staining a shooting range deck or building a fence, those small gestures improved the camp experience for hundreds of other kids who stayed at the 4-H camp. Last year as a junior counselor, RYLA also had an immense impact on me. I learned even more about my leadership abilities and skills while leading my group. I learned how to be vulnerable with individuals so that they, in turn, will be vulnerable with me and trust me. Overall, RYLA has made me a much more mindful person; I became more mindful of my own abilities, strengths, weaknesses, my own impact on others, the impact any of my actions can have, and the importance of friendship and genuine connection.
How do you feel you can contribute and grow RYLA?
I feel like I can contribute to and grow Great Plains RYLA by wholeheartedly dedicating myself to the program. Whenever I am involved in an activity, I dedicate myself to that activity completely. The same would apply if I were selected as a junior counselor. I feel like the best way I can contribute to and grow Great Plains RYLA is by providing the same transformative experience I had at camp for other individuals. I would do everything in my ability to provide the best camp experience for the individuals in my group. The impact of the Junior Counselors is crucial in the success of RYLA in transforming those who attend the program, and I feel like I have the capabilities and experiences to contribute to this program and the staff in a meaningful way. From serving as my high school’s Future Farmers of America club Vice President to serving as the Vice President of our Interact club, I already have experience being a leader, specifically as it relates to Rotary and community service. Additionally, serving as a counselor at Cornhusker Boys’ State in both 2018 and 2019 (as the assistant counselor for the camper-run newspaper), and more importantly serving as a counselor at RYLA last summer, allowed me to gain experience with leadership specifically as it relates to a camp and delivering the life changing experience the camp is intended to deliver. I truly believe that the best way to grow Great Plains RYLA is by providing the same transformative experience that I had at camp to every individual at RYLA. When the attendees of RYLA have such an incredible week, they are more prone to encourage other individuals in their school to apply for RYLA, and thus assist in growing RYLA. I am a prime example of this growth, as are the other individuals who attended RYLA from my high school the same year as me; after the amazing time I had at RYLA, I encouraged all of my friends to apply and my fellow attendees and I encouraged every member of our Interact chapter who was eligible to apply for RYLA. Because we had such an amazing time at camp, we wanted other members of our school to experience that same feeling. I believe that the same is true for individuals who attended RYLA last year. Several individuals from last years camp have expressed interest in applying to be junior counselors this year, as well as reiterated over and over how transformative the camp was for them. By ensuring that this incredible camp experience is provided for every generation of individuals who attend RYLA, those individuals will continue to encourage other individuals in their school to apply for the camp, growing Great Plains RYLA as a whole. As a junior counselor, I would again strive to provide the same experience I had at camp for the individuals in my group. Ultimately, it would be an absolute honor for me to contribute to RYLA, the program that has given me so much and transformed me in so many ways, in any way possible.