Kate “Peep” Romanggi shares how Westwind has influenced her journey as a camper and staff to reach out to a great community and share that joy through teaching.
“I know I am not alone in saying this- Westwind has changed my life. Who knew a camp full of wildlife and miles of forestland, tucked between the Pacific Ocean and Salmon River, could also be home to the most spirited, compassionate, and creative people many have encountered?
Westwind is unique in it’s ability to bring diverse, passionate people together from all walks of life. I was first a camper the summer of 2003, and little did I know the road Westwind would take me down. I continued coming to camp all the way through the teen program, and finally joined staff for my first summer in 2011. I could not believe I could influence young kids in the ways my counselors had influenced me. Role models from my childhood have always been from the Westwind community, and now I had the ability to empower children the way I had been taught.
I have worked hard to give campers the opportunity to explore all that Westwind has to offer; though the hands-on social, environmental, and global learning that goes on every summer. My passion and experiences at Westwind pushed me to pursue a degree in teaching, which I will graduate with in March of this year. As I finish my student-teaching in a 4th grade class, I am reminded of the endless learning and joy that Westwind has supplied me with. Westwind helped me discover my passion, and funnel it into my education and hopeful career. More than that, it helped me learn the important qualities in being an educator- patience, creativity, empathy, and of course, joy. How important to be excited about your work and passionate about becoming better. As I finished my (likely) last summer as camp staff in 2016, I couldn’t help but reflect on the incredible route Westwind has taken me on, and the tools and experiences it has given me to move forward as an elementary school teacher.”
Global Learning at Westwind
Imagine being an elementary student with a teacher like “Peep” who is as passionate about the experience the students receive as the curriculum placed before her. Did you know that every summer Westwind employees 50+ young adults? Out of those 50, about 10 of them are international staff coming from multiple countries all over the world. These internationals are a highly valued part of the Westwind community, bringing perspective, experience and a way of doing things that is different from most. Pair this global influence with the surrounding nature and strong Westwind community and how can you not be excited about the teachers that are out there as educators?
Join Westwind by giving a year end gift of any size to continue empowering young adults to learn in a community that embraces diversity, encourages community and loves to see people exploring the world around them. Give today through Willamette Weekly’s Give Guide and your donation is matched!