I remember my first camp. I was invited to be one of the junior facilitators by a former tutor and the camp has nurtured me a fun and life-learning experience that has already marked my life. My tasks involved monitoring the venue’s cleanliness, assisting the facilitators in taking care of campers (e.g. doing the headcount when it’s time for activity), and looking after a buddy and distributing meals, while having the chance to enhance my talents and learn new skills through various workshops, and to apply my independent living skills. What marked me most back then was I met my friends for life. I felt blessed having the opportunity to join camp, discovering how I could be an inspiring role model to campers, most of whom have special needs.
My second camp was quite different from the first. I am now an apprentice facilitator – with bigger responsibilities aside from the ones assigned to a junior facilitator. One of these tasks involves labeling whether the different elements in the room (lockers, bed, baggage, bathroom..) are either clean or messy after the facilitators-in-charge have inspected the rooms. I am also in charge of helping a volunteer in arranging the library corner, look after two camp buddies as some facilitators are tasked to do (camp facilitators are usually asked to look after two-to-four camp buddies), and to facilitate in some of the workshops (social skills) and activities (being one of the room marshals in Superhero Team Quest) with the coaches. While being a junior facilitator is all about assisting a coach and being an older sibling to the campers, an apprentice facilitator is trained to be one of the future camp facilitators. There are times when I am referred as a coach by the new campers. I am equally required to work during the campers’ regular free time, which is filled with sweat and blood.
Yet this feels more like a challenge than a hindrance. I have told myself that it is time to move forward and I need to learn more skills that are more applicable in my adult day-to-day life. It is about time that I earn more respect from campers seeing me more as an actual adult rather than as a peer their age, who is actually an adult in disguise. While dreaming to be one of the senior camp facilitators in the future, I also need to be well-trained before joining their circle. Being an apprentice facilitator has fully exploited my skills in becoming a leader, and has boosted my self-worth and sense of accomplishment.
This year’s camp is indeed as memorable as my first. The following pictures sum up all the fun.
And this leaves me with..
Like One Dream Benefit Concert, CAMP L.I.FE is also organized by Candent Learning Haus (CLH), a center for tutoring and special needs. Check their official website (http://candentlearninghaus.wix.com/candentlearninghaus) for more details.