RYLA Staff Applications

Haylee Wing

Gender – Female

Position(s) Applying For – Junior Counselor (Open to anyone who has attended RYLA as a camper)

Year Participated in RYLA – 2018

Times You’ve Served as Junior Counselor – 1

Home Phone – 308.920.0613

Work Phone – [695]

Cell Phone – [683]

College Phone –

E-mail – hw.hayleewing@gmail.com

City, State – Republican City, NE

School City, State – Wayne, NE

Why do you want serve in the positions you’ve selected?

I want to serve as a Junior Counselor to try and help others experience the feeling I did leaving Halsey. Most likely, students will be coming to the camp not knowing the impact RYLA will make on them. I want to be a person anyone can feel comfortable and safe enough to talk about any life situation they are having trouble with. Someone they know has their best interest and wants the best for them. I also want to help others step out of their comfort zone, meet new people, and try new things. I want to serve these students because I know how RYLA can change your life, and I want to try and make sure they aren’t missing that experience. Camp is supposed to be a fun place to do new things and meet new people, but it also gives these students a safe place with people who care about them. These are all reasons I want to serve as a Junior Counselor.

How has your experience as RYLA participante impacted you?

Driving through the winding roads of Halsey’s National Park was petrifying. I was so scared I wouldn’t fit in and the thought of that made me dread the camp before I even got there. Little did I know, this camp changed my life in a way that I will never forget. In the span of one week, I saw a whole new me. The experience at RYLA helped me step out my shell in more ways than I could ever imagine. Before camp, I was quite, shy, and didn’t like to speak up when things were on my mind. Throughout the camp, I started to build friendships not only with the other campers but with the leaders as well. I felt safe and comfortable around them and the environment they provided. They helped me feel like I’m not alone and no matter what I always have someone who believes in me. I learned that I matter and the things I have to say are important. I found a love for meeting new people and trying new things. I am more open about my feelings and my communication skills have improved since attending RYLA. I no longer stress over what people think about me or how I can become perfect. RYLA taught me that I don’t need to change. Everyone is different in so many beautiful ways. We are all humans, we make mistakes and learn from them. Life isn’t fair, but that doesn’t mean I have to let it ruin who I am becoming.

How do you feel you can contribute and grow RYLA?

I feel like I can contribute and grow Great Plains RYLA simply by how my past has shaped me. From a young age, I have been in foster care. The things I have experienced will stay with me forever. Because of this, I find it easy to understand other students who have been through the same things I have. I am very easy to talk to and give off a trusting and calming feeling. I can contribute my empathy and advice because I was in their shoes at one point. I can’t stand when others don’t think they are good enough or lack a sense of belonging, I can contribute how big my heart is, and no matter what they are going through, they will always be there for them. I want to contribute my time to listen and help these students experience the tremendous impact RYLA can have on you if you let it. Having empathy is one thing, but when it comes time to speak the truth and give the advice someone may not want to hear is another. I believe this can grow RYLA and the expectation we have to be there for these students no matter what. We can teach these students that you don’t have to be like your past. You create a road of success for yourself. Throughout what was happening when I was a kid, I always thought, “Your past makes you who you are today,” and I can very much oblige for that.