My Summer Camp Volunteering Experience
Conor has been volunteering with us this past week as a support assistant on our Summer Discovery Camps. He is currently a member of the Blossom Buddies programme – our weekly teens life skills group, and has been a Blossom Camper since 2011. Drawing on these experiences, he approached our CEO and camp co-ordinator to offer his time and skills to help out on our summer camps for younger kids. I sat down with Conor to find out what it is like to work on the ground at a Blossom Camp.
“I am working everyday, getting a train in. I help the group leader greeting campers.” Other tasks Conor has responsibility for include; organising the visual schedule for the kids, helping the group leaders, setting up materials for activities such as smoothie making and sports, motivating and engaging with the kids, and taking photos. Conor was able to bring some of his personal experience and skills in football and basketball to the camp, as these two sports were a key part of the timetable this week. His own time spent at camp really helped him to understand how to motivate and engage with the younger kids.
His highlights of the camp so far were “Doing circle time and making smoothies and going out to the playground and playing chasing…I like going in here because its calm and we bring them to the playground and the sensory room.”
There is also a social aspect to the work, with staff working in teams, planning activities, helping each other out, and having a break together at lunchtimes. Conor has bonded well with his team; “there’s Joe here and there’s Aoife and Nicola and Stephen…I did yoga [before] and Nicola from yoga was here lying on the mats and we were doing yoga poses [with the kids]”.
I asked Conor if there was anything he didn’t like about the work; “It’s good, it’s all good… I was happy at the end of the day”. After camp is over, Conor plans to relax and play some football, while also looking for a job in retail or working with kids.
When asked was there anything difficult about working with lots of energetic kids, Conor replied “No. They’re brilliant”. I think we could all say the same about Conor!