Westwind is fortunate to have international staff each summer that enhance our program, bringing global perspective to our community and adding a depth that most of use don’t have in our every day lives. Bernadette “Beats” Corpuz came to Westwind last summer from Australia and took on Westwind head on.
Two words that are not alien to each other. Two words that, in fact, are easy for me to write about simply because some of my best memories are related to these two words.
Working overseas, at Westwind, for the very first time in my life was exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. Throughout my time at Westwind, and as I got more used to the environment and to the structure of it all, I could feel the excitement and joy that everyone seemed to be talking about. I was excited to wake up on Day 1’s and meet a bunch of new faces – some that would be etched in my memory for a long time. I was excited to share meals with my campers, but also with co-counselors, some who will be long-distance and long-lasting friends #EGC. I was excited to contribute to campers’ experiences, whether they be new and challenging or backed with an “I did this last year!” mentality. All of these moments at Westwind brought me so much joy at the time, and even more joy as I reminisce. These are moments that no one else can experience, because I made them my own and I believe that they were made for me. Whenever I talk about Westwind to my family or to other Aussies, I get so elated that I want to keep talking … or I just end up singing the camp songs! The faces that I get because of these songs validates the joy that Westwind brings to me!!
When I came home from Westwind, I was inspired to implement the strategies and teachings that I had learned overseas into my classroom – that developing a relationship with the young people I work with is the foundation to collaboration and success; that although there may be challenges, assistance and genuine encouragement will get you over those challenges; and that age is just a number – perfect moments can be shared by everyone, regardless of age. As I implement these in my high school practices, I remember Westwind and I remember everything that it gave me, and realize the cycle that it rotates around.
Two words that I will always use in the same sentence. Two words that hold so much more meaning and depth than ever before. I’ll be back!
Campers of all ages and backgrounds are celebrated at Westwind. We try our hardest to not tolerate anyone but to embrace and celebrate them as individuals. We give a community that is welcoming and safe. Your donation today, will help us continue giving to campers of all backgrounds!