Leadership and service go together like ice cream and happiness; you can’t have one without the other. Since high school, I have always been someone who enjoys volunteering and completing service hours. My parents always encouraged me to do this and reminded me how important it is to give back to the community. This past summer, I was given the opportunity to spend three days at a Champion Force Cheer Camp and help teach children, ages 6-18, how to tumble and cheer.
Early August rolled around and I took a week off work to drive up to Ferris State for a few days to join my team and volunteer for Champion Force, a cheer company that consistently supports CMU Cheer and our fundraisers. This camp held almost a thousand kids through two sessions making my life quite hectic and stressful for a while. Watching over hundreds of children everyday and making sure they don’t fall on their head while tumbling was something I had never done and wasn’t really prepared for but it taught me a lot.
Waking up at 7:00am wasn’t easy but Ferris State provided us with meals that put CMU to shame (no offense, I still love you CMU) and from there we would head to the tumbling gym and await our first rotation of cheerleaders. I spotted back walkovers for eight hours everyday and by the end of the second rotation I was a sweaty mess. I kept a positive attitude and constantly upheld a positive attitude to encourage the girls to try their hardest. I got to form very strong relationships with the other volunteers through this service and even some of the girls I was teaching. One girl specifically kept my job interesting as she kept stealing my hat and wore it around the camp. She was the cutest little nine-year-old named Helena and I recently got to see her again at a more recent cheer clinic that CMU put on.
Thanks to this service, I learned that nothing comes without hard work and that staying positive is the best way to do anything. Indeed, I was exhausted almost everyday and couldn’t wait to lay in my bed, but constantly providing a positive vibe helped myself, other staff members and most importantly, the Champion Force cheerleaders have a great time!