Fun, adventurous, and a bit tiring. These are the three words Ellie uses to describe her camp experience. “At the end of camp when I get home, I just kind of flop down on my bed and sleep for like two days!” Ellie explains. It may be a bit tiring, but that doesn’t stop Ellie from returning each year. She came to camp four years ago, and from the time of her first week at camp to now, she has grown and become more confident in herself and her abilities. 

Ellie credits this personal growth to her participation in the Ragger program. This year, Ellie is working on her Silver Rag. Ellie’s goals this year focus on self-confidence. “This year my goal is not to let anybody influence me and not feeling like I need to change myself or my personality for anyone else.” 

For most, middle school can be a confusing and stressful time. It can be a time when kids can feel pressured to fit in by conforming to the status quo – pressure to change who they are. But with Ellie’s new Silver Rag, she believes this will help her remain true to herself. She now has a better understanding of who she is as a person and knows how she wants to grow. “It [silver rag] has given me a good sense of myself and who I want to be, quicker than I probably would have known without my rag.” Ellie’s counselor Kilie has noticed how the rag program has impacted Ellie. “Ellie’s commitment to improving herself through the rag program is admirable. She is a ray of sunshine who lights up every room she’s in!”

Ellie can’t wait to come back next year and see where it takes her. “Before camp, my self-confidence was low. I didn’t take any shots, and I didn’t want to mess anything up, especially for anyone else. But now, with camp, I’ve come to realize ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So I take more risks and chances.”

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