To me, Northwest Youth Corps is about leadership, commitment, teamwork, friendship, trust, honesty, and family.
Leadership means to pull your own, and sometimes other people’s loads as well. It means, take action in not only the work field but also at camp, to make sure everything runs smoothly and everything gets completed.
Commitment to me means to finish what you have started and not to give up, no matter how tough it might be.
Teamwork means to all help each other when times get hard or even just the simplest of things such as tying down the trailer.
Friendship means to share, take care and to hold one another when one is injured, hurt-emotionally or physically. It means to have empathy for one another as well.
Trust and honesty is being honest about what was broken, lost or stolen and trust your team because without honesty or trust, there is no real friendship.
Finally, family. When off in the woods or on the beach or where ever else they send us, we have to live in close quarters with for a month (sometimes even longer) with complete strangers. And we have to all get along. You look around and you see these people 24/7. It seems as if you have known these guys and girls for years. When I leave NYC, I will never forget these people. You could say life-long friends.
Being around everyone here you develop a new sense of thinking, a new way of discipline and a new way of conserving. Before NYC, I would litter, throw away food, throw cans and wastefully use plastic bags. I’ve adapted to new rules such as licking plates clean, using what resources you have and appreciating what’s scarce until you don’t have it at all.
When I go back home, I am going to be a lot more creative with food, using what I have and making something great out of it. I will reuse bags and consume less. I will reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere when I choose my bicycle over my car. I will no longer buy brand new clothes. I will appreciate that I my bed is dry, soft, and warm; that I have a flushable toilet, a washer and drier, and a shower. I will not take for granted that I get to see my family every day. Most people don’t realize how lucky they are until they are put into the situation where they don’t have it.
This is what NYC means to me.