Anastasia Marie Wroblewski is always ready to serve no matter what the situation. Anastasia is 17 years old and has been a member of Camp Fire USA since she was 4. During her time as a Camp Fire USA member, Anastasia has stood out as an outstanding volunteer, earning Four Gold Presidential Service Awards during the past Four years. She was honored as the Prince Georges County Youth Volunteer of the Year in 2007. Anastasia now serves at the Vice President for Youth on the Council Board of Directors and was recently selected to serve on the Camp Fire USA National Youth Advisory Cabinet. As Youth Vice President, Anastasia is charged with overseeing all youth service activities and ensuring that the Adult Board members hear the youths’ voice.
Anastasia talked recently about her volunteer experience and said the following: “When I got to high school I decided to do something more with community service. I defined the role I wished to play in helping those around me. I started to develop my own projects and write grants to make them happen. One project that made a huge impact on my life was the development and implementation of Camp WoHeLo. Camp WoHeLo is a summer day camp idea that I came up with for the children of United Communities Against Poverty homeless shelter in Capitol Heights. This camp taught the kids life skills and took them on field trips. All summer I had the privilege to work with these children who were less fortunate. At first I thought the campers would be quite and not very excited about coming to camp, I was quickly relieved of that idea and found myself working with energetic lively children.
The kids were terrific, though some were shy. Six weeks did not seem like a lot of time to me yet it was just enough. I got to watch the kids who were shy become energetic, talkative children. I learned about some of the horrible lives that they had had so far and how they overcame challenges this far. I also got to show them how to control themselves and make the best out of different situations. The development and progress that they made was amazing to me. When I came up with the idea of Camp WoHeLo I just wanted to make a place where the kids could have a fun summer. I enjoyed being with the children and working with them through issues that came up in the camp. Some of the kids just needed an ear to listen and I was always prepared to do that. I liked working with them and being able to be a person that they could turn to and be a friend to. For me this camp was a huge success. Not only did I have a blast being with the kids but I decided what I want to do later in life. I want to major in Psychology so that I can work with more kids.”
Currently, Anastasia is a Senior at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, MD, where she is involved in multiple service activities. She serves as a Peer Minister in the Campus Ministry Department, serves a one of the Teens in Action Service Coordinators and volunteers for school and community activities. She has participated in Points of Light Youth Leadership Institute and now serves as a PYLI teen team leader.
Anastasia has provided service in a variety of settings besides her Camp WoHeLo project. At the end of the program, she encouraged Camp Fire USA to continue the program. The Teens wrote a grant and received $7,500 to support the program which is now going on with the assistance of teens from Teens in Action Clubs. She serves as a project coordinator for Project Ignition: Camp Fire’s Teens in Action Teen Driving Safety Program. The program has achieved national acclaim and is a finalist in a national competition on Teen Driving Safety. For two years Anastasia assisted with the preparation of the grants with success in both years in winning the grant to fund their effort. She has worked with conducting a carnival for needy children at a commercial campground, engaging campers and families in raising funds for the food bank. Since the 7th Grade, she has been helping with an after school programs in an at risk school in Forestville where she has successfully written Youth Service America grants to fund programs. Her other accomplishments include assisting with the delivery of programs for children at a homeless shelter in Leesburg, VA, designing and implementing 2 National Youth Day projects for high school and elementary school students; designing and implementing a MLK Day exhibit on Teen Safety in collaboration with Camp Fire USA for the Channel 4 Health Fair for 3 years. She has served on the Council puppet team; Designed and directing a Christmas Program that collected gifts for children and then coordinating the students to deliver the gifts on Christmas Eve Morning; Building with Habitat for Humanity in their Youth United Program and Planning and Leading CF66 Service Learning Road Trips, taking other teens on service learning trips based on specific themes of poverty and homelessness.
Anastasia will be going off to college in the fall with scholarships for her service commitment. She plans to build on the experience that she has had and to be a woman of service in the future. The Camp Fire USA Torch Bearers Desire states the following. “That Torch which has been given to me, I desire to pass on to others.” Anastasia is a shining light; that light which has been given to her she is passing on to others.