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Nia’s Story

Youthfront is its own little world to me, where I learn how to be a better person wherever I am. Teen Staff is an addicting part of that experience. The weirdness, the happiness, the resurfacing heartbreaks, the smell of incense and bug spray, the dance parties, the chocolate pudding and honey-on-your-pizza—these are things that are inextricably and lovingly linked to Youthfront in my mind.

This place has shaped my life and my heart in unchangeable ways. I have seen it as a second home to so many including myself—a constant and much-needed place of love and light through turbulent years of our lives.

Something that I really value because of my four years spent at Youthfront is the power of listening. Youthfront has taught me one of my favorite hobbies, which is simply sitting down and listening to someone tell their story. When I came in as a freshman, my Teen Staff supervisors unknowingly taught me how. They let me open up and stumble on my thoughts and cry to them (in the middle of the dining hall actually), and I realized then how good it feels when someone sincerely wants to know your heart. So I learned how to do that for others, and now listening is a skill that I love and will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Teen Staff is where I learn the most about Jesus. It is where I get to physically serve people as Jesus did, and put my love and compassion to the test. This is why I will always be grateful for the two plots of cabin-filled land where my favorite people live each summer. This is why Youthfront is my home and my refuge.

Nia Arteaga, Teen Staff at Youthfront Camp West

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