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August Message from Deb Green

Cooling Off with Camp

On a recent very hot day, I joined our summer campers on an adventure to Marsh Creek State Park. As you may know, I have had a long career in the early learning field. It was a real treat to spend an entire day with our school-age program staff and children. 
When arriving at the pool, I was immediately impressed at the systems put into place by all of our camp staff. The children knew exactly what group they belonged to and followed their teachers to the designated towel areas. Before getting into the pool, the children listened in their groups as the staff explained the specific rules. 
And then, as the temperature gauge was approaching 95 degrees, the children hit the water.
Aside from all the laughter and splashing, what I was most aware of was the level of interaction between the children and the staff. All PIC staff members were in the water with the children and it would have been difficult for anyone to determine who was having the most fun. 
Some children entered the pool tentatively and stayed very close to their teachers. Within minutes, they were trying new skills with the staff members at their sides. Many children were calling “watch me” as the teachers observed them putting their faces in the water, doing somersaults, and/or standing on their hands (over and over and over again!).
I watched as staff members showed children various strokes, helped them float on their backs, and engaged them in many games. There was also a terrific water adventure park, where children and staff laughed as they ran through sprinklers and had buckets of water fall on their bodies.  
We were certainly not the only camp at the pool that day, but even with my obvious bias, it was clear that the level of engagement and interaction exhibited by our children and staff was beyond compare. 
A woman who I met in the water told me that she has been coming to the pool for years for her morning aerobics class. She pointed to a group of our staff and children in the water and remarked, “Those counselors sure are having fun with those kids.”  
It was a hot and exhausting day for all. Many of the campers were asleep within minutes of the bus pulling away from the park. I left with so many wonderful images of the day floating in my head. I am eager to join Summer Camp when they head back to Marsh Creek in August!