My Co-Op Experience: Where Friendships...

My Co-Op Experience: Where Friendships Are Made by Ascenza

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Written by Ascenza

A few summers ago, I was able to experience and work in an environment that truly inspired me and my future endeavors. I spent my summer working and doing a co-op placement at a summer camp. As a grade 11 student going into grade 12, a student who was and still is dedicated to spending time with children and youth, I was more than happy to spend my summer Co-Op experience working as a camp counsellor. I was placed at an arts and crafts camp where I was working with campers that were ages 6-8 years old.

During my placement, I was able to help the campers create art that expressed their inner feelings and I taught them about the different aspects of art. This experience allowed me to rule the positives and negatives of working with children since I have always wanted to pursue a job in education. There were, of course, more positive experiences such as the one to one relationships I made, seeing the effect I had on the children and learning the importance of building relationships with the children and the other workers.

The most memorable part about the program was the welcoming environment that the centre had instilled in the workers and even the campers. I was working along a group of people who were dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic about their jobs which inspired me. My placement allowed me to meet many new people who have been inspiring role models for my future.

During my placement, I was able to learn how to better interact with children, create lesson plans and build better communication skills. These skills are perfect for my future since I do plan in pursuing a career in education. Not only was the working environment friendly, it was also a beautiful building. Towards the end, it was hard to leave the amazing staff and campers until I was offered a job and got to stay the rest of the summer! Being able to get a credit while doing one of the things I love the most, being with children, has really influenced me and has opened my eyes to many other opportunities. The staff, campers and building will always have a special place in my heart and I recently got hired for a March Break 2017 counsellor position and worked 1:1 with a Reach for the Rainbow camper. During my placement, it may have seemed like the campers were learning from me but in the long run, I was the one who learned the most. I want to thank everyone who allowed me to come out of my shell and who have helped me grow into a passionate person, friend, and camp counsellor.

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