Summer Camp 2015

By Sara Toledo, SED 2018

Sara Toledo PhotoFor education majors, it can be difficult to decide what to do with your summer. While internships are available for a lot of other career paths, that’s not as much of a possibility for those pursuing education. Since the academic school year does not run during the summer, it can be difficult to find a position in a school over the summer.View post That was an issue I ran into this year.

Around the end of the Spring 2015 semester, I realized I should probably start looking for a job for the summer so I could make some money while I was at home for 3-4 months. Throughout my life, I have attended a summer day camp program ever since I was 6 years old. When I was old enough and eligible to become a junior counselor, I worked for the summer camp I attended in the previous years called Sesame/Rockwood Day Camp. Unfortunately, I stopped working for the Summer 2013 and Summer 2014 seasons but this year I missed it so much I had to go back to that camp environment that I loved so much. Another unfortunate point in my decision to go back to camp was that I now lived about an hour away from my old camp, Sesame/Rockwood.

I knew I definitely wanted to work at summer camp, however I wanted to find something closer to home. I looked around and applied to a few places in my area and eventually went in to interview at a camp called Windmill Day Camp. After talking with two of the amazing directors, I realized that Windmill would be a perfect fit for me. I gratefully accepted when they offered me a position and came back in a few weeks to start training.

Training at Windmill proved to be a really fun, friendly, and constructive environment. All of my fellow staff members were extremely welcoming and let me in to their little family that they had already built there. Although I had been in a camp environment for most of my summers, it was hard and nerve racking to move to a new camp. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the strong passion for a familial atmosphere that they embodied at Windmill.

When it came time for camp to start, I was very excited to receive my new group of campers! With my trusty co-counselor Abby by my side, we started off on a great foot with our group of six-year-old campers. I was very excited to work with my six year olds, not only because camp is fun, but because I might want to teach first grade one day and that’s what age they will be (after all this job was supposed to give me an “internship” type work experience).

It proved to be a challenging summer when I was given a group of five year olds for the second half of camp, this time without a co-counselor. Although flying solo was nerve racking, to say the least, I think it was a very realistic feel to what teaching will be like. I was appreciative that my directors not only gave me the opportunity to work by myself, so I could gain a little more experience, but I was also humbled that they trusted me enough to venture out on my own with my own group. I definitely enjoyed my summer at camp and I really look forward to next summer. Hopefully, it will bring a lot of new challenges and experiences.

Sara is a sophomore in the School of Education, majoring in Elementary Education

One Comment

devfer posted on December 4, 2015 at 5:57 am

Summer camp is such a positive experience for kids and teachers, when the camp is run in a good way with an emphasis on fun, learning, respect, and happiness. Kids need to be kids, so it is a good idea, I think, to allow them space and time to simply play, and to experience the outdoors. I was reading this article about the benefits of camp for children and it really rings true.

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