A few weeks have passed since my time with the kids has ended, which has given me plenty of time to reflect on my time there. I’ve told my friends and family members all about the joys and sorrows and struggles of working at this position. The last hoorah, the Family Fun Night that was held after the last day of camp, was especially fun. I worked at a bounce house/obstacle course that the kids could race in, which was a blast save for the few occasions that I had to fish a smaller kid from the course because they’d gotten stuck. I certainly miss seeing the kids and I might visit them during the school year, but there are definitely aspects of the internship that make me glad to be done. Namely, the drama between the seven-year-old girls. Moreover, there is so much that I wish I knew going into the internship.
To the new CAN summer associates:
-Don’t sweat the small stuff. If the kids aren’t into a lesson you’re trying to teach, just try and improvise and ensure that the kids have fun with the activity.
-Be patient with the kids. Many of the kids don’t have a great family life, so they need the extra support from caring adults like you to get by. They’ll frustrate you and sometimes be downright bratty, but getting angry with them isn’t the answer.
-Bring coffee!! Starting camp at 9:00am with 40 kids just doesn’t seem possible without a bit of caffeine.
-Be prepared for anything. Kids will always manage to find a way to make themselves or others bleed or cry. So come prepared with bandaids and emotional stamina.
-Be nice to your coworkers. Some days your coworkers will be having a bad day, and the kids will definitely pick up on it. So try and cover for them when they need it, it’ll make the day go so much more smoothly!
-Teaching can be difficult, so have a good attitude and don’t give up!
Now, as my summer wraps itself up, I feel accomplished. I made an impact on kids who need positive adult roles in their lives, and I learned a lot about myself too. If possible, I’d love to work in this type of environment again!