Every Student Has A Story: Nerija Cuplinskas

For Nerija Cuplinskas, Lithuanian Youth Camp was a time for friendship, family, and serenity.

Courtesy of Nerija Cuplinskas

For Nerija Cuplinskas, Lithuanian Youth Camp was a time for friendship, family, and serenity.

Alexia Kingzette, Staff Reporter

Snow glistens on the forest floor. It’s white and fluffy and everyone looks around and smiles into the sun that is shining. There is a michevious essence among these group of high schoolers. Their instructor is talking about a rebellion and within a few moments a spontaneous snow ball fight begins. Nerjia Cuplinskas thinks of this as one of the highlights of her winter break.

She didn’t choose this family yet they fell into her life like the leaves fall off tress, naturally. Nerija didn’t just lay in bed all winter break; she had a great experience. This winter break, she went to Lithuian Youth Camp and had an amazing time.

The camp was serene and in a snowy forest right outside of Manchester, Michigan.  It was peaceful and quiet, far away from the stress of home. Though the main activility done there was speeches being read by inspirational figures it was really fun.

“I know this will sound boring but the main thing that we did there was listen.  People would come to do speeches…..these speeches would take two to three hours but they were really inspirational,” Cuplinskas said.

Nerija seemed to really enjoy them and believe the other campers did too.

The speeches were supposed to be uplifting and give the fifty-eight high school students thoughts on their eithnicity and life in general. The overall theme of the camp was to be authentic. This is a huge relief from high school life where everyone seems to want to be the same. In between the speeches and other activites they got hot chocolate and do tons more.  They didn’t just hear speeches though; almost every night there was basically a little party.

“It was New Year’s we had a really fancy dinner. This year it was medieval’s, like medieval times, themed. We had a really awesome dance afterwards,” she said.

As she says all of this she’s smiling because in this week long adventure which lasted from the day after Christmas to New Year’s, all she appears to have are happy memories.

“It was amazing, I really want to go next year,” she said.

You have to be a high school student to be able to be a camper but once your older you can still be a part of it.  Counselors do a lot,  you can get a kitchen job and do many other things. Overall Nerija realized you don’t have to be blood related to connect with people.

Pelting snowballs was what she will always remember about it. It might have been the moment she realized these kids from across the country were some some of the people she is most comfortable with.

“We were all friends, all Lithuanian, we were really like a tightly knit family,” she said.