It has been five years since I joined camp. I was first trained as a junior facilitator whose responsibilities involved monitoring the room cleanliness, serving meals, taking care of co-camper buddies and being a role model and was later promoted to apprentice facilitator whose responsibility involved co-facilitating in some workshops and activities in addition to junior facilitator tasks that I still needed to perform. Two years ago, I graduated from being a camper to one of the coaches, otherwise known as facilitators (junior and apprentice facilitators are still known as campers yet with responsibilities.). However, I was known back then as a volunteer facilitator, who was trained to be one of the future senior facilitators (otherwise known as the highest rank of facilitators or coaches).
I was surprised to learn that I was finally one of the senior facilitators. I barely felt any difference between my volunteer and senior facilitator days in terms of responsibilities, and I did not facilitate any workshop but rather assisted my co-facilitators in preparing the materials, took pictures of the activities and workshops for documentation purposes and looked after my own camper buddies (who also happened to be my longtime friends since my good old camper days) and the ones endorsed by the other coaches. Prior to camp, my tasks were to pour my creative juices and make the most of my artistic and technical skills onto creating both camper and facilitator kits and certificates. Despite the slight difference in responsibilities, there are still new things I have learned (I would rather keep them personal, sorry to say).
I have also experienced lots of highs in my third year as a coach. Two of these ‘highs’ are the facilitators’ team building activities that involve knowing the co-facilitators personally and deep enough to be able to work well with them and the post-camp meeting where the co-facilitators were encouraged to share about their highs and lows. The newly introduced activities are what made the camp more enticing, and I personally loved guitar and songwriting workshop to the point that I was tempted to join. My ability to balance work, leisure and personal care times is my most highlighted high, as this used to be my difficulty in my first two facilitator years. I am glad to have the opportunities to respectively express my musical talent in my performances with friends during the bonfire, Myth Night and Sunday Program and my artistic talent in pillow art making and in painting an animal representing my tribe (water) in cubist form.
Meeting new friends and spending time with the old ones have always been my traditional highs. Although I admit missing my friends who did not join this year’s camp, I am still glad to have friends I can be with for a week.
“Thank you for always doing your best in performing your tasks/responsibilities while managing to still have fun with both campers and facis.”
Such are the touching words I received from my mentors. I am once again thankful for the opportunities to grow in camp as a camper-turned-coach and also as a person. I am now looking forward to apply what I have learned in camp in five years, both in next summer camps and outside camp.