So many kids, nonstop excitement, and a daily game of dodge ball was so exhausting, but this was the life for campers, counselors, and teachers at the Christian Brothers Summer Fun Camp. The Christian Brothers summer fun camp was for elementary school students to participate in academic and art camps to help them thrive for […]
So many kids, nonstop excitement, and a daily game of dodge ball was so exhausting, but this was the life for campers, counselors, and teachers at the Christian Brothers Summer Fun Camp.
The Christian Brothers summer fun camp was for elementary school students to participate in academic and art camps to help them thrive for the next school year. So who is behind this?
Educational Technology Specialist Ms. Brittany Williams is the director of the camp and the coding class teacher. Before she even starts to plan the camp she looked back on how successful the previous camp was.
“When I look at classes I think to myself, ‘oh last year this was successful, what wasn’t successful, what can we add to make the camp improve’”.
Preparing for the camp starts in late January when Ms. Williams puts the registration for the camps online and waits to see how many kids will enroll.
She then posts an ad on the Christian Brothers website, saying she is look for certain teachers who will fit the criteria for the camps that are going to take place that summer. She will tend to need a robotics, ceramics, coding, theater, and chemistry camp teachers. Most of the teachers are returning teachers or teachers who already work at Christian Brothers.
“I interview the teachers and then hire them,” Ms. Williams says. “Most of the teachers are here every year.”
She then proceeds to send out a Schoology message for students to sign up to help work the summer fun camp. This is the stressful part because she is relying on younger people to show up and do the work that they might not be expecting to do.
“You have to make sure you get the right students,” she says. “It’s a balance finding kids who actually want to volunteer because they usually don’t know how much work it is actually going to be.”
When the student volunteers are finalized, they come in during the summer for one day to prepare for the camp. Here they sign up for the camps that they are interested in pursuing and the camps that fit their schedule. The students then proceed to make posters to welcome the campers on the first day.
Younger kids are very unpredictable and everyday was a new situation to handle. The idea that not knowing what was going to take place that day is what made the counselors want to return each day. The new stories and experiences are what made this four and a half weeks of summer even better.
“We were always anticipating something crazy from the kids,” counselor Grace Ramirez (’20) stated. “It was like we had to have eyes everywhere, and even though it was exhausting, we all still had so much fun.”
Having to watch younger children was a new concept for some of the counselors. They all learned that they had to have a great amount of patience and understanding while working the summer camp with kids who were years younger.
“I really enjoyed the summer camp because I exposed me to working with children and being a mentor,” says Lolo Larraguivel (’20).
Not only were the students learning and growing, but so were the counselors. They were able to make new friends and to finish their service hours in one summer.
“It also allowed me to strengthen my friendships with the counselors and teachers,” Lolo said. “It’s a fun way to earn service hours and I definitely recommend it.”