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.