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Leading with My Strengths

Ahoy There! My name is Morgan Stephens, and I am the current Motorboating Chief at Seafarer. This will be my fourteenth summer at Camp and my second year as chief. I could not be more excited about coming back in this role, for a few reasons. First, as a second semester senior at Furman University, I am beginning to look for jobs and make plans for the next year, which can be rather daunting at times, but I am comforted knowing that I am returning to a place that will be supportive of me in the coming months. Secondly, Camp is a place that encourages not only its campers, but staff members as well, to become leaders both inside and outside of the gates. I have been lucky enough to serve on the administrative staff for the past two summers and have been able to develop my skills as a leader. Directors, fellow staff members, and campers have taught me leadership, confidence, and humility during my time at Seafarer.

Last summer during Administrative Staff Training, Camp brought in Elizabeth Payne, a Camp alumna, to introduce us to a test that identifies our strengths, called Strengths Finder. Prior to that, my personality test experience had been limited to BuzzFeed quizzes and other online tests. After answering questions for about 45 minutes, Strength Finder identified my top 5 strengths as, Includer, Positivity, Restorative, Woo and Adaptability. For the first time, I had five words that I felt accurately described me. Elizabeth helped us take our results and guided us on how to incorporate them within our teams. We learned that it is beneficial to have a team whose members have all different strengths. This diversity allows each member to use his or her individual strengths to balance the team dynamic. For example, organization is not where I always excel, but another member of my Motorboating Team had organization as one of her highest strengths. It was great to be a part of a team that leaned our individual strengths to make the whole team successful.

While Elizabeth came to Camp to help us use our strengths specifically during the summer, she has continued to help me use my strengths beyond the gates of Seafarer. As I am finishing up my senior year, I have been developing my resume and searching for jobs. Elizabeth has been a guiding light for me in this process. She has taken multiple occasions to either speak with me on the phone or email me about my resume. We have worked together to describe my different roles at Camp in a way that potential employers can understand and in a way that effectively demonstrates my skills developed at Camp. If it had not been for Camp Seafarer inviting Elizabeth to come and speak with us, who knows where I would be in this process right now. I consider myself extremely fortunate to keep returning to a place that not only wants me to succeed within its gates, but outside of them as well. I look forward to what my future will hold and am grateful for every opportunity Camp Seafarer has given me.

Morgan Stephens
2015 Camp Seafarer Motorboating Chief