Reflections of a SEEDS Summer Camp Counselor
Thursday, Jul 31, 2014
Summer camp at SEEDS was a 5 week amazing, hectic and all consuming experience. While I had prior experience working in after schools and summer camps, none of them hold a candle to the intensity and passion I felt working at SEEDS as a camp counselor. Summer campers and I played games, worked in the garden, learned about the natural world around us (insects, bugs, pollination, plants), made art, and every day seemed to whiz by. I put all I had into writing lesson plans, and brainstorming educational, contemporary, and engaging projects. The special thing about summer camp is that kids get to learn new things in stress-free environment that emphasizes fun and personal growth.
We had fantastic guest speakers, such as Emily and Erika who taught fermentation science and art one day. (Emily is the “Housepatality” Fellow at the artist space Elsewhere: A Living Museum in Greensboro, and her sister Erika has a farm located down the street called Holler Farm.) Kids got to taste fermented foods such as sauerkraut, sausage and kimchi, then create pictures using those foods. The results were hilarious, especially the sun made out of cheese with pickle rays. For Art Week we learned about Keith Haring, symbolism, and public art. We then drew our interests and self portraits, wheat pasting them on a piece of recycled plywood, creating a new graffiti inspired mural for the garden. I will miss the ongoing fort building, and imaginative world campers created around them. Everything from wizard battles, to peace treaties, to the highly successful restaurant “Blue Robbies” took place in the forts constructed out of sticks, twine and colorful flags.
The friendships I formed with campers were immediate and strong. I can only hope I made as big of an impact on the camper’s lives as they made on mine. I could not have done my job without the tremendous support and inspiration of Heather, Thaddeus, and all the volunteers. I am very sad to be leaving SEEDS, but I will treasure the experience, knowing that if I can do summer camp then I can do anything!