Youth Staffer Aiden Hamilton Describes How “Three Short Days” Forever Changed His Life
By: Aiden Hamilton
TEENPOWER, aka the happiest place on earth, is a conference that shows kids how to have fun without the use of substances. The goal is to create a community of peers and mentors that all share similar morals. Whether it’s watching the Morning Show amp up the energy after breakfast or it’s being in your Family Group’s Variety Show skit, TEENPOWER is full of exciting moments. The energizers, the games, and the people are amazing. The staff at TEENPOWER is full of vibrant, loving, and caring people that take the time to connect with people beyond their surface levels. The Youth, College, and Adult Staffs make for one of the best support systems you will ever have.
I discovered TEENPOWER because my mother decided to register me without my knowledge. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with her. This was all back in the sixth grade. Five years ago I was the equivalent of a hermit crab, introverted to the max. For someone like me who was reserved, being thrown into a camp with a bunch of hyperactive kids can be an uncomfortable experience.
However, believe me when I tell you that it was worth it. TEENPOWER changed all that for me.
The three short days I was at TEENPOWER had a lasting effect on how I carry myself to this day. Being at TEENPOWER helped me realize that it was okay to open up my shell and make new friends in addition to the ones I already had. After my experience, I noticed I had a better mentality when approaching social events throughout the year. Noticing that change in myself is what kept me coming back to TEENPOWER. I grew as a person and there is no better feeling than that. The first time I went to High School TEENPOWER it felt like the same thing but multiplied by ten. Only High School TEENPOWER was unique because it had Teen Panel. After sitting through Teen Panel with one of my best friends, my life changed again. For the ones who have been to camp and have seen Teen Panel, I’m sure they can agree. For those who haven’t been to camp and have no idea what it is, I hope you get to experience one. I hope everyone gets the opportunity to experience TEENPOWER one day. Once you go, you’ll never want to leave.
For me, not leaving meant becoming a part of the staff. Ever since my first experience at TEENPOWER I knew I wanted to be a Youth Staffer. The way they had fun with everyone, cared about everyone, and made everyone feel comfortable was something I wanted to do for someone in the future. My Youth Staffers were the people who got me to come out of my shell and enjoy myself. Seeing them embarrass themselves and seemingly not care made it easier for me to let loose. I wanted to help spread the love and happiness I received to another person. Even if it is just one person’s life I can change for the better, it’s worth it to me. That is why volunteering my time at TEENPOWER means so much to me. Building positive, healthy relationships through TEENPOWER and Youth Resources is something bigger than myself. While I do have the best times being with my fellow Youth Staffers, that isn’t the best part. It’s the opportunity to make my community better for my friends and my peers.
Aiden Hamilton is a sophomore at Harrison High School. He’s a member of the Teen Advisory Council and a member of the TEENPOWER’s Youth Staff.