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Abbey’s Story

I first came to Youthfront Camp West as a camper, then teen staffed at West as well as volunteered at LaCygne. I really fell in love with the way things are done at LaCygne and applied to be a summer resident there last summer. This summer I returned as a lifeguard once again and I already can’t wait to come back in 2017!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living at LaCygne this summer, it’s that community doesn’t just stop. Community doesn’t take a break when I’m tired or I don’t feel like taking on others’ problems as my own. That can be infuriating, but above all else, that is so refreshing. I always know that I have 25 other people behind me, ready to support me when I’m in a rut or cheer with me when I reach a peak.

I hope I never forget anything that happened this summer in particular. I remember driving to LaCygne on a Monday night in May to start our first week of training. I have struggled with anxiety for many years and that is especially apparent when I’m about to encounter change. Even though this is my fourth summer at LaCygne and my umpteenth at Youthfront in general, I still felt very fearful about such a change in pace after finishing school and reentering LaCygne. Less than a day after I arrived that Monday in May, I already felt such a heavy love for all of my coworkers like I had never felt before–even in previous summers. As the summer comes to a close, though I feel a certain sorrow at saying goodbye to my brothers and sisters, I also feel a renewed joy that the relationships we’ve forged this summer don’t end on July 31st–we’ll carry them with us throughout the school year until we see each other again.

Abbey Welch, Lifeguard at Youthfront LaCygne

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