The Story of My Work...
The YMCA, although not a constant part of my everyday thoughts, is a huge part of who I am and is often a memory I retreat to in order to get away from the busyness of the everyday world. I have worked there for four years and am headed into my fifth year this summer. Working with children has been the greatest opportunity and something I could never give up. Besides the kids, the relationships I make with the people I work with are some of the best friendships that I have had.
These two boys were my co-counselors this past summer...I guess you could say that I was the sane one who kept them in check most of the time...we had a lot of fun together from boy-vs.-girl water balloon fights to kickball wars, to roller blading on fieldtrips and when it came time to be serious with our high schoolers we got down to work. It was an amazing time!
Hanging out with other counselors outside of work and at work is a part of my summers at the YMCA. It's the way to keep your sanity when you spend 40 hours a week, 10 hours a day surrounded by young children who can sometimes be a little stressful!
This is Erin and me taking a break for a kodak moment at the playground.
During the summer counselors want to have some fun too. So, we all take a Saturday and go to Busch Gardens for a fun-filled day of rides and games and adventurous van trips. It's a way to get away from camp and enjoy the sun and each other.
This past summer I had the opportunity to work with high school kids in a leadership program. CILTS (Campers In Leadership Training) is a program designed for kids who are interested in becoming counselors at the YMCA when they are old enough. During the summer we help them to learn leadership skills along with team unity to prepare them to spend their days with the other huddles at camp, assisting the other counselors.
Below is a poem that I wrote about working at a day camp...hope you enjoy!
As our summer draws near and our training soon will end, There are many lessons we will put away and many we will keep at hand.
We have learned about safety, enthusiasm, and games, We have learned how to come up with creative huddle names.
We have learned how to lead a devotion or two, And if a camper gets hurt we have learned what to do.
We have learned about the different roles we will play, And learned about the schedule we will keep everyday.
Songs, playing fields, and rules we now know, We’ve learned where the children are not allowed to go.
All this and more has been packed in our minds, But the greatest lesson of all we have yet to find.
The most cherished idea you should take with you this week, Deals with the expectations of the campers we soon will meet.
Campers don’t come here just so they can play, They are looking for friendships that will last forever and a day.
They expect us to be teachers and tell them how plants grow, They expect us to be omniscient and share everything we know.
They expect us to be leaders guiding them down the right path, They expect us to be lovers showing very little wrath.
They expect us to be listeners hearing every word they say, They expect us to be healers making their injuries go away.
They expect us to be fathers teaching them how to play a game, They expect us to be mothers making sure no one calls them a name.
They expect us to be brothers and help build a fort to call their own, They expect us to be sisters and play “dress-up” like we are grown.
They expect us to be role models and they will follow our lead, But most of all they expect friends,
And you will plant that seed.
SEM June 2000