Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Icamp isn’t just about creating amazing technology projects- it’s also about personal growth and development. Supporting other kids as they bring their ideas to fruition helps campers build skills in teaching, leadership, and team-work that last a lifetime.
Perhaps nothing better exemplifies this personal growth than our CIT program, in which former campers begin to take on more responsibilities at icamp. Jelly Bean Jelins and Laughing Lynne are two stellar examples of this program’s success. Both began as campers, stayed on as CITs, and are now valued member of the icamp staff. Here’s a brief look at what their icamp experience has meant to them.
1. As a camper, what attracted you to icamp and what kept you coming back?
Laughing Lynn: I loved how creative I could be, and was even encouraged to be, at icamp as a camper. The idea that I could build my own house or shoot my own movie without anyone telling me how to do it was enthralling
Jelly Bean Jelins: icamp gave me a place to mix my creativity and scientific sides and create projects that I was proud to take home and show my friends and family. I loved the work I was doing and would always come out with a personal sense of achievement. It made me feel like an adult: having a deadline, the Thursday craze, the Friday group collaboration, where as an older camper I was able to develop early leadership skills.
2. Why did you want to be a CIT? What did you learn from that experience?
Laughing Lynn: I first started out as a CIT really because I was in desperate need of employment, but it quickly became much more than that! Working at icamp has given me the priceless opportunity to work with kids and has shown me how much I truly enjoy it.
Jelly Bean Jelins: I wanted to be a CIT because of two things. One, I loved what I was doing and I never wanted to stop. Two, I idolized (my camp director) and wanted him to pass on his wisdom as an instructor to me. In the beginning the transition was a little difficult, but I learned that I was no longer a camper and that I had responsibilities to uphold.
3. Why did you want to be an icamp counselor? What do you enjoy about working at icamp?
Jelly Bean Jelins: I love my job and I wanted to take on the full responsibilities of a counselor. The thing I enjoy most is when we get a really bright thinker, and I get to see them express their creativity for the first time in a new way, whether that be animation, architecture, or music.
4. How do you think you help campers recognize their own talents and potential?
Jelly Bean Jelins: I suppose the only way I know is positive encouragement and reinforcement. Let them know that their mind is truly the limit.
5. Looking forward, how has working at icamp helped you develop and/or build skills that will be useful to your future endeavors?
Laughing Lynn: icamp has really helped me learn how to manage kids and what works in terms of the balance between control and fun. Right now I think I want to be a math teacher someday in the future, so those skills are invaluable.
Jelly Bean Jelins: I have learned so much working here. I never was much of a team player before icamp, but now I know how to collaborate with my colleagues to get work done most efficiently. I have learned much too much about how to work with people to go into detail!
Posted by TNT Tara at 10:30 AM