Heart O' the Hills Summer Camp for Girls

How to become a Heart LITe

Heart LITe: Heart leader-in-training. “Leader”, a strong word you might think, however, being a leader is so much more than just telling people what to do or showing how powerful you can be. Being a leader is about inspiring others to dream a little more, to learn and do a little more, and most of all, to become more.

From my opinion and perspective, there is no better place to learn how to become a great leader than camp. When you are at camp, you realize that all you care about is your team, the people around you and how you can make them be successful in every activity, how they can have fun, laugh, be themselves and carefree, regardless of what others might think.

Being a Heart LITe is a really hard job to fulfill. It is a job where you don’t get paid, where you are the first one to wake up and the last one to hit the pillow and go to sleep. A job where you do a lot of the behind-the-scenes chores; you get to interact with all of the campers in daily activities, overnights, carnivals, Stewart dances, etc.

Heart O' the Hills Summer Camp for Girls

Heart LITes are our favorites!

But don’t get me wrong, you are definitely not a ghost. Every single moment you are working on something; the campers are watching, especially if you are a former camper. They are like little eagles watching from the distance and analyzing every move you make and every word you say. Campers are small copy cats, whatever you do, they’ll do; whatever you say, they’ll say. This doesn’t mean you have to think eight times before you act a certain way, but it does mean that even if you don’t think you’re being an example to those 6- to 16-year-old girls, you definitely are. So the best way to be a heart leader is to be yourself, connect with campers, help them develop their potential, help them accomplish difficult things, and bring out the greatness within them.

Great leadership turns out to be a cycle of accomplishments, growths, ups and downs in two directions. As your Head LITe, I will be leading you during this journey as future Heart O’ the Hills Camp and life leaders. The more you help campers and your co-Heart LITes grow, become better, and find a purpose on their daily activities, the more you will automatically have the same, and therefore I will, too. And let me tell you, there is no better feeling than watching the ones you care about the most slowly changing, growing in integrity, selflessness, love and care.

Nevertheless, being a leader is not about being perfect and sometimes having to pretend being something you are not. Don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be afraid to fall. The most important thing is to stand up 10 out of 8 times you fall down, always having your head up, a big smile and being the best version of yourself and no one else.

Don’t worry, I’ll be there for you, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. I’ll be there to make you feel strong when you feel weak, I’ll be there for you to tell you when you did something wrong so you can learn from your mistakes and make them a lesson and not a regret. I’ll be there to help you create little leaders by helping you be one.

Remember, leadership is not about being the best in the room, it’s about acknowledging the different traits from the ones around you to create something unimaginable. Just as Mother Teresa said, “You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together, we can do great things.”

Heart O' the Hills Summer Camp for Girls

Opening Day, ready to LITe up the summer!! <3

So, to all the 16- and 17 year-olds, former campers or new to camp, who want to become leaders by creating small ones, join me on this magical journey during summer 2017, and let’s experience what you’ve never experienced before. Let us create memories that will last forever and friendships born to last.

If you are interested of being part of the adventure, go onto HOH’s website, set up an account and fill out the counselor application. Our amazing program director, Laura Gallagher, will get your application and the process will start.

See you soon!!!

<3, Maria

About the Author

Jane Ragsdale

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Jane Ragsdale (Mrs. Dick Howell) is the director of Heart O’ the Hills. She was a Heart camper and counselor, and served as program director from 1978-87. She has been one of the owners since 1976, and director since 1988.

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