I attended SPREE as a camper every summer until I aged out of the program. I was devastated that I could no longer attend my favorite summer camp and continue learning about our river and the environment until I found out about the opportunity to be an LIT! I applied, was selected, and began possibly the most influential experience of my middle school life. Every summer I came to SPREE as an LIT and took on new and exciting roles. It was my first real experience in having adult responsibility and while it was intimidating at first I soon began to grow into the role and feel empowered. Being a LIT also helped me grow my confidence in myself and my abilities and allowed me to learn and practice leadership skills in a constructive environment where it was ok to make mistakes. The SPREE staff are some of the kindest and most dedicated educators I have ever had the pleasure of working with and they always encouraged me to grow! As a kid who, like many others, had a rough middle school experience SPREE always provided me a safe space where I could regain my confidence and learn new leadership skills. Being an LIT helped foster my love of the environment and encouraged me to return to SPREE as a full fledged high school River Ranger which I have enjoyed immensely for the past three years! Now that my time as a Ranger is coming to a close, I am headed to CSU where I will be pursuing a degree in environmental education! I owe much of who I am today to SPREE and being an LIT helped launch me into my path. Being an LIT is a great way for middle schoolers to grow their confidence and work ethic, learn how to take on leadership roles and responsibilities, and stay involved with the amazing SPREE program! I will never forget my time as a LIT and I hope that you decide to become one too and experience the growth, self discovery, and love that I did!