During the summer of 2011, I worked as a Unit Leader for the “Dolphins” group at Newton's Camp Echo Bridge. The camp prides itself on including all children who wish to have a fun summer experience in a safe and accepting environment. The camp schedule incorporated academics such as "Math Madness", "Language All-stars", and "Social Club" with fun, camp activities. As the Unit Leader, I was the head counselor who helped manage my 5-6 year old campers, the younger counselors, and was the main communication between the parents and the directors of the camp. Other responsibilities included managing medications, planning different fun and engaging daily activities, encouraging campers to listen and be respectful of one another, and among other Unit Leaders, being a target for embarrassment at all-camp assemblies. I had always thought that being a camp counselor would be a lot like babysitting, but when my first Level-1 supervisor suggested this would be a great job for me, I was intrigued and she was right. We spent our days swimming, racing, singing, dancing, and learning how to work together. At the ending of the day camp, I also was asked to work at the annual, one-week overnight camp with 30 of the older campers.
This was my opportunity to work with the adolescent and young adult community which I had yet to experience. Overall it was an enlightening experience which allowed me to see that as much as I love working with younger kids, there is a lot about teens and young adults that I love as well. This second experience has me considering working for a transitional services program for teens and young adults transitioning out of high school.
This camp is unlike any I have ever attended or seen in that it is entirely inclusive and everyone is having fun, whether it be the younger kids with the older campers, the counselors with other staff, or directors being involved daily with the different units. I learned a lot about patience, leadership, and the importance of allowing myself to be silly and occasionally vulnerable to gain the respect and trust of children as well as for my own happiness. This is something that I learned from the kids, and as much as they learned from me, I learned from them just the same.
To learn more about my summer job and the camp's mission,
please read the Camp Echo Bridge Brochure
The counselors, aides and I on dress up day!! Who doesn't love Sesame Street?
Dolphins enjoying "Music time with Phil" under the big tree after lunch.
During my summer and winter breaks at UConn, I would come home and work at T.K.O. Malley's restuarant as a waitress. I have been waitressing since I was 17 (previously at Cherrywoods BBQ in Norwell, now closed) and it is a summer job that I enjoy. My coworkers have become some of my very good friends and most of all I enjoy meeting all types of people, be it the local townies or the Irish visitors who have come to see the beautiful Scituate shore.
I have learned a lot about patience, respect, and even advocacy while working as a waitress and I have enjoyed my experience here.
image from: www.eattkomalleys.com
Norwell Public Schools