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Hailey Knauf

Learning to try new things

Are you getting excited for the summer months? Maybe you’re looking forward to a break from school or warmer weather. Maybe you’re excited to do something fun this summer, like Hailey Knauf. Hailey is most excited about going to camp. Why? She’ll be one year closer to becoming a camp counselor. Plus, she’ll get to try new activities and meet new people.

As a teen, she understands her teenage years are the perfect time to explore her interests and talents. It’s also a great time to gain experience and valuable skills that will help her now and throughout her life. Read our interview with Hailey about the importance of trying new things.

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How old are you?

I’m 13.

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What are your interests and hobbies?

I like to sing, dance, and hang out with my friends. I have done the school musical for the past three years. I also love going to camp each year to reconnect with old friends and meet new friends. At camp, I enjoy trying different activities, especially sailing.

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Will you share some of your strengths with us?

I believe my strengths are that I am kind, patient, and willing to try new things. It can be hard to try new things, but I know it helps me grow. It also helps me figure out what I like and don’t like.

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Why do you want to be a camp counselor?

I want to be a camp counselor so I can help kids develop new skills and have fun. As a camper, I’ve learned to be more confident in trying new things. I also have made friends with people that I wouldn’t normally have gotten to meet otherwise. I enjoy helping the younger campers with projects and games.

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Do you have any experience looking after someone younger than you?

I watch my 2-year-old brother. I’m also a certified babysitter, which means I’ve been trained on how to safely and responsibly care for babies and kids.

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What do you enjoy most about taking care of your little brother?

I enjoy spending time with him, and it’s fun to watch him learn so many new things. I really like teaching him and showing him different animals, what they look like and what noises they make.

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It’s not easy being a camp counselor. What qualities do you think camp counselors need to lead successfully?

I think that in order to successfully be a camp counselor, you need to be understanding of other people’s thoughts and differences. It’s also important to be patient and kind. My favorite counselor always is.

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What skills do you hope to learn from being a counselor?

I hope to learn how to take charge and become more personable. I think these skills are important because I know that I can be shy at times, and learning to be assertive will help me in the future.

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What advice would you give to other girls about exploring their interests?

I think that if you are interested in something you shouldn’t be afraid to try it. You should always try new things. For me, it can be scary because I have been afraid that I would fail, but I am learning that it’s okay to fail sometimes. I never knew how much I enjoyed sailing until I actually got on a sailboat. I was really nervous, but I ended up loving it! Trying new things is important because you should always challenge yourself. Plus, it can be rewarding.

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While it’s never too early to start thinking about the future, it’s also okay if you don’t what you want to do when you grow up. Your interests and abilities may change as you get older. To learn more about planning for the years ahead, check out our Your future section.

Content last reviewed May 01, 2014
Page last updated May 01, 2014

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.