Camp Casey: Retreat of a LIFETIME

Camp Casey Participants. (SOURCE: Jerry Bunce.)

As I begin my position as the new Editor-in-Chief for The Jibsheet, I would like to reflect on my experience at the Camp Casey Leadership Retreat. I shared many great moments with more than 100 students from both the main and north campuses, and a great group of staff and faculty.

Attending Camp Casey was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my short life, and if you didn’t get a chance to attend this year, I encourage you to apply next summer because believe me, the things you learn at this camp are life changing.

Prior to attending Camp Casey, I was nervous about stepping into my new position at the paper. I was not sure whether I was prepared for the new challenges headed my way, but the leadership seminars I attended during the four days on Whidbey Island reminded me that I am a strong leader.

The staff in charge of teaching the seminars provided me with the necessary tools that will help me with my tasks; not only for The Jibsheet but any other place I decide to work at.

At Camp Casey, I also learned to accept the ideas of others whether or not they have the same interests as me, because together we can use our strengths to help Bellevue College be the strong college it can be.

One of the seminars offered focused on culture, and it taught students who have never moved to another country or to another state, what it feels like to be in a new place and the sacrifices one makes in order to survive in one place.

The “What is culture?” seminar was one of my favorite seminars because it was then that we all learned the importance of culture, learning about others and their different beliefs, and learning to use our different ways of thinking to create a safe working environment here at Bellevue College.

Camp Casey Participants. (SOURCE: Jerry Bunce.)

The other seminars focused more on personal life values, communication and listening skills. All seminars were meant to encourage us to think like leaders and potentially help us grow as leaders. Attending Camp Casey is a nice experience to have because all leadership seminars were free! Who doesn’t want to get leadership classes for free?

Camp Casey is supposed to be fun, but no one said it would be easy because some of the activities offered both personal and group challenges. One of the most challenging activities I participated in were the rope courses

I am terribly afraid of heights, but I pushed myself, and attempted the activity. It was a huge step for me, and I am proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone. I am pretty sure that I would have never tried doing a ropes course somewhere else, but I felt safe at Camp Casey and my peers were great at encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone.

Aside from the ropes course, there were many more activities for all campers, who were all divided into different groups. We all had time to play soccer, volleyball, basketball, and other field activities. The activities were meant to challenge us, to make us work in teams and find solutions to difficult tasks, while practicing what we had learned during the seminars.

Getting through the ropes course was challenging, but the last day at the camp was by far the most life changing experience I have ever faced. The seminars offered that day were emotional since they focused more on personal experiences, and made people realize where they stand in the world.

These last two seminars made people appreciate everything they have, and encouraged them to always strive for the best, regardless of the many challenges we will be forced to face at some point in our lives. And it is with this in mind that I begin my new position at The Jibsheet.

I realize that the position I have taken will be challenging, but I know I have learned well from the leadership sessions offered at Camp Casey, and I know I have made many amazing friends who will support me every step of the way.

I am grateful with Student Programs, faculty and staff for offering me this opportunity. There really are no words for me to describe my experience at Camp Casey, all I can say is APPLY next year and go!


About Ana Palma-Gutierrez 29 Articles
My name is Ana Palma-Gutierrez, and I am from Mexico City. I first moved to the U.S. when I was seven years old, and the transition into my new life was a very challenging experience for me. I had to learn English in order for me to survive in my new home, and in addition, I had to leave all my friends and family behind in order for me to find a better life. Almost thirteen years have passed by since I first moved to the U.S. and I am very proud of being a Staff Writer and Copy Editor for The Jibsheet. Currently, I am the only Mexican/Hispanic Staff Writer and Copy Editor on staff, and I am very proud of myself for this accomplishment. I want to thank my Editor in Chief (Riley Hartwell,) as well as the rest of my editors for giving me the opportunity of writing and editing for The Jibsheet. I look forward to completing my Arts and Science Degree here at Bellevue College, and transferring onto a four-year college, where I hope to Major in Political Science and Minor in Journalism.