My name is Annika. Annika means gracious. Annika is the African pronunciation of the Swedish name Ahnika. My Dad is African American and my Mom is Swedish so together my name is the perfect combination of everything I am made up of.
I am made up of all the people I’ve encountered and all of the things I have experienced. I hold the warmth of strangers waiting to become new friends on check-in day, the butterflies and nerves before jumping off the high dive, the laughter of my best friends, the knowledge of a new recipe learned at cooking. I hold the wisdom of each vesper, the silent giggles and shhh’s at siesta. I am made up of all these people, all you people, and these moments with each person you’ve met and every moment you’ve had this session.
Take some time to think of the knowledge, lessons and love you have gained from those and this place surrounding you. All of these make up who you are.
I would like to say a few examples that make up who I am this session.
From Zoe, I am made up of the comfort and feeling of home I have with her.
From Annie, I am make up of being silly and embracing craziness.
From Yolanda, I am made up of the power a big welcoming smile can have on a new friend.
From everyone here, I am made up of admiration for you all for taking the huge leap of adventure for coming to Camp with so many unknowns, along with many others. These people inspire me and have left a mark on who I am this session.
Every person and every moment influences who you are. No matter where we originate from, Sweden or Africa, you are the perfect combination of everyone and thing in life. I encourage you to spend the rest of this session (and your whole life) embracing all that you can collect from those with different backgrounds, lifestyles, experiences and add these to what makes you up. We are all so special and uniquely ourselves.