Monday, August 19, 2013

Thank You Laura!

We would like to extend a special thank you to Laura, who was our fearless leader of this year's Summer Camp. We asked Laura to share a bit about her experience:

I participated in the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013, being a volunteer and then an intern/director for the South Franklin Summer Camp through United Way. It has been both challenging and rewarding. We, of course, had fun every day in different ways, but summer camp is a lot more than that! 
I’ve loved seeing the kids grow up and develop strong ethics, morals, and a sense of purpose in their lives. This summer, one child’s mother told a tutor that her child had started enjoying reading to her instead of her reading to him. I witnessed other times where the kids’ eyes would light up as they saw learning come alive through the Bean Museum animal show. Others learned they could trust volunteers to talk about different problems they were facing in their lives and had help in gaining ideas to solve them. I saw others get excited to participate in the new community center’s opening and feel a part of and responsible for their community.  
These little moments made all the trying days worth it. I have learned a lot from the children in forgiveness, caring, friendship, and many other great qualities. All of the directors, volunteers, and tutors have influenced not only the children’s lives but mine as well! As we’ve worked, learned, and played together, we have learned much from each other! That’s what being in a community is all about, right?

Thank you Laura for your dedication and for the joy you brought to the South Franklin Community Center and its members.

The Campers' Potluck

2013 marked the eighth year of the South Franklin Summer Camp. It has endured over the years with the help of the campers, volunteers, and community partners.

This year, the last day of summer camp was the Campers’ Potluck.  The campers and counselors munched on items the campers chose and brought themselves: including two different types of homemade cupcakes.  Campers and volunteers relaxed on the floor with their friends and enjoyed their mini-feast. 

We discussed campers' favorite parts of summer camp.  One camper loved the field trips, “We went to the BYU art museum. That was my favorite.”  She told me she enjoyed the variety of art at the museum. Another camper enjoyed “Getting wet” when they had a water day in the hot summer sun.  She also mentioned that they “did a lot of reading” using books from the community center library.
The Mini Feast

The Awards Ceremony

No camp would be complete without an awards ceremony.  Camp leader Laura handed out an award to each camper. The children giggled and waited anxiously once their name was called; what would their award be? Each award was unique, ranging from “best team player” to “most likely to be a secret agent”. 

Next, the kids had their 15 minutes of fame (okay 3 minutes of fame) with a video from Channel 17- who wanted to share their footage of the kids who were involved in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. When I asked one camper what he thought of the new building he said, “I think it was pretty good and I can’t wait to go there. Hopefully next summer”. 

Each volunteer and camper deserves a huge THANK YOU!  We hope you enjoyed your South Franklin experience and we will continue to improve to make each year better than the last.