Name: Nicholas Teles
From: Royersford, PA
Grade: 12 (2017-2018)
School: Pope John Paul II High School
For the past few years, I volunteered at my high school archery camp
for kids in elementary school. The camp was one week long and about
eight hours per day. As a volunteer at the camp, my role was to set
up, run, and clean up each day. The most rewarding part of the week
was helping the campers who had never shot a bow and seeing their
confidence grow as the week progressed.
The first day of the camp was mostly teaching the campers the
mechanics of how to shoot a bow. We used string bows which were
easier to teach the mechanics. When all the campers knew the
mechanics and steps to properly shoot, we progressed to using real
However, in 2016, when we started using the real bows, there was an
obvious issue with one of the campers who had special needs. He knew
the mechanics and steps to shoot properly but could not draw the bow
string back to a full draw. When I saw him struggling, I started
working with him. After one day, he was able to reach the target
with the arrow. That was a massive improvement, but the arrows were
only bouncing off the target because he could not shoot the arrow
with enough velocity.
As the week progressed, he started generating enough velocity to
penetrate the target with his arrows. Both of us were filled with
excitement when he got his first arrow to stick. By the end of the
day, there were only a few times they did not stick in the target.
At the end of the camp, he had improved so much and I was ecstatic
that he had done so well. I was also very satisfied with the amazing
progress he had made during the week.
One of the biggest things I learned from this is that happiness does
not always have to come from something good that happened to you.
Happiness can come from helping someone else have something good
happen to them.