Noelle Olivete is an AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate with United Way of Utah County and served as director of the South Franklin Community Center's Summer Day Camp for 2011.
There were seven weeks of camp…and it was questionable if I would survive those weeks! Looking back, I have to say that camp was a success! As each week passed, I learned so much about what activities to do and what worked best for the entire group.
My favorite part of camp was getting to know each child on a personal level. In addition, being able to improve and teach them new skills was really rewarding. Whether it be on field trips, at the community garden, or just at the community center, I felt that it was important to focus on having a goal for them to reach. Some of the goals included giving the group challenges, teambuilding activities, developing the feeling of self-accomplishment, exploring new ideas and concepts, doing service, and so on. I have to say that preparing these activities presented a challenge for me but I would not trade this experience for anything! To see the facial expression of each child enjoying themselves during an activity or thinking things through during a challenge makes my job so fulfilling.
During these seven weeks, I know that I have gained so much insight as I interacted with each child; I have learned so much from them. I hope that they were able to have a good experience during camp and that they have gained something from coming. I love that I was able to be small part of their lives! I hope that by working with them as well as our amazing volunteers, that together we have instilled in them to keep moving forward in life—to make good choices and know that each and every one of them has so much potential.
It is my hope that the South Franklin Community Center's Summer Day Camp keeps improving as the years go by. I hope that it will continue to impact and unite the families within the community.