Another week has gone and sometimes it is easy to forget how I originally came to Lower Lights. From my fellowship description I expected to be a drug and alcohol prevention instructor and nothing more. Now, although I still instruct against drugs and alcohol I find myself putting more importance in being their summer camp counselor. As their instructor, I do all I can to teach them, but as their counselor I can implement my teachings within active context. My relationship to them as a counselor has allowed me to bond with the children. I take this responsibility of guiding and directing them seriously. I worry over them always asking what they need, if they’re okay, and if there’s anything they need to talk to me about. Being a camp counselor also entails that I carry extra items in case of an emergency. However, it feels like I am never carrying enough emergency items. Band aids, alcohol wipes, Neosporin, snacks, and sunscreen I have.. extra flip flops, socks, and towels were a hard miss, but I am considering adding them and investing in a bigger bag. I see myself with a rolling luggage in the future.
At Blendon Woods Park, I remember an incident with one of my girls. One of my kids has pigeon toes and on our first field trip disclosed with me how walking long distances hurt her legs. During our next field trip, I asked her if her legs were okay. She said, “why are you asking me that?” I said, “Remember you told me your legs hurt after walking for a while..do you need a break?” She forgot she told me and was shocked that I remembered. I remember all of my kids unique circumstances, interests, and dislikes that are exposed to me. I found myself not only trying to prevent them from drugs and alcohol but from the minor mishaps that could happen to each of them throughout the day. Mary, our camp lead, said I was a “mother hen”.
I am so happy that not only am I their instructor but most importantly I am their counselor. They have made such a positive impact on me. I believe I am honing in on my skills when it comes to health prevention in the context of working with kids. I also believe I am honing my skills on interacting and teaching children in general. They have given me an opportunity to practice my craft in a different context and I am forever thankful. More than this, I always hope maybe even one good thing I say will stay with them forever. If even one thing helps them through anything they go through I will be joyous.
On a final note, last Friday, the kids asked a co-counselor, Alex, and I if we would still be there for them after summer camp. Alex said we would always be there for them even thirty years from now and I agreed. Seconds after that I looked to Alex and said, “Wait, Alex that means we will be 52 years old”…yikes!
See you soon!