Reflections from the Teen Summit | Andrew C

Andrew C pictured above. This is the final installation of Reflections from the Teen Summit.. Thanks to all of the teens that shared their Teen Summit story. See links at end of article to read more reflections,
By Andrew Culver 
Pretty much since last year’s summit in North Carolina, I have been looking forward to returning again to the Summit. I have never fished in Montana before, so when I heard that the 2016 Summit would be held at Georgetown Lake, it made it that much more awesome. Leading up to the summit there was so much excitement among the current Youth Leadership Council (YLC) members, as well as all the new summiteers. Through a massive group chat, we all shared our excitement for going to Montana, pictures of the flies we tied, and got to know a little bit about each other before the event even started. Even with all the buildup and excitement, the 2016 TU Teen Summit surpassed any expectations I had. 
Before I even stepped off the plane, I knew it was going to be an incredible week. From the air, I could see beautiful mountains and wild rivers; I could only imagine the fantastic trout swimming below. Once we arrived at camp, the snowcapped mountains and pristine lake blew me away. The week was full of plenty of time to fish and enjoy the incredible location. We fished Georgetown Lake for huge rainbows, Flint Creek for beautiful wild browns and Harvey Creek for native cutthroats. 
Photo by Andrew Culver. 
The summit involved a whole lot more than just fishing, and the week was filled with great conservation speakers, a service project, and YLC brainstorming sessions. We learned about Montana’s native fish, even getting to dissect a Perch to learn about fish anatomy. We spent a whole day on Harvey Creek, full of native cutthroat and bull trout, building a fence to keep cattle out of the stream. Later in the week, the new YLC got together to discuss our plans for the upcoming year. We wrote up what we hoped to accomplish, then divided up our plans and assigned them to different groups. I could feel the excitement in the room during these planning sessions, and I’m very excited for what the YLC will accomplish in this upcoming year. 
The summit was packed with so many great activities and incredible fishing, but I think the best part of the summit was the people I got to meet. I’ve never met a group of people my age so passionate and excited about conservation and fishing. The group were all so grateful to be there and all wanted to do everything they could to help the YLC and its mission. The YLC made great plans for the upcoming year to get more teens involved in fly fishing and bring a new generation into Trout Unlimited. Most of all, I made friendships that will last a long time and got to spend a fun filled week with a fantastic group of people, all while working to preserve and protect our cold water fisheries for future generations.  
Andrew is a member of the Thomas Jefferson chapter in Virginia. This is his second Summit and has been a very productive member of the Youth Leadership Council since 2014. The YLC is the volunteer body made up of TU Teens that helps to set the direction of TU’s Youth Education Initiative. Members of the YLC are passionate leaders bringing the mission of TU to their local communities while working on a broader scale to contribute to TU’s Youth Education Initiative at the national level.
Read more about the Summit from the Youth Program Director, Franklin Tate's reflection.

Read other reflections like the one from returning Summiteer and monster rainbow catcher, Dylan P

And Gavin's reflection which focuses on their endangered bull trout stream restoration project.



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