Learning Through Experience: Our Students’ Summer Activities

Each summer, our Middle and Upper School students are presented with several opportunities to keep the learning process active and to help prepare them for their next grade level in the fall.  This summer, there are more options than ever that allow students to choose something from a list of learning opportunities that appeals to them and their interests. Students can volunteer, start a business, attend a college program, study abroad, intern, work/volunteer at a summer camp, get a local job, work on a charity project, or go on a college tour! In doing these activities, students are able to learn outside of the classroom, helping them adapt to new environments and learn in new ways! Each student then submits an essay about his or her selected summer experience.

Middle Schooler Tyler N. submitted this essay about his learning experience working at the SPCA:

Charleston Animal Society Junior Camp Leader 
Topic #8: Work at a summer camp 
The activity that I chose was #8 (work at a summer camp). I was a Junior Camp Leader at the Charleston Animal Society. I chose this activity because the only camp that I love more than go-karting camp is working with the animals. I chose this camp because Ms. De Daltorio (Senior Director of Humane Education) invited me to apply to become a volunteer Junior Camp Leader as an Alumni of the summer programs. I was selected to be one of the 6-8 Junior Camp Leaders for the summer. If you want to be a Junior Camp Leader, you have to be asked to apply, be 12 and older, and commit to volunteering for two whole weeks of summer camp. I was selected for Animal Care Camp (ages 5-7) in July and Beginners Vet Camp (ages 9-11) in August.
Animal Care Camp was held from July 5-7. While I was at camp, I participated in the activities, meetings, cleaning, and others things. I had to stay at the camp from 8:30am-1:30pm. The actual camp is from 9:00am-1:00pm for the campers. This camp teaches you how to come up to an animal, how to pet an animal, and how to treat an animal. I was given a badge because some doors have a lock system that require a badge to get through the doors. When we got there in the morning, I fed the animals, cleaned the animals’ cages, and help set up the place for the campers.
When the campers got there, I had to direct them to what they had to do and also throughout the day. I would also clean dishes, help with activities, gather materials for the activities, help gather the animals for animal time, etc. We also had guest speakers come in to talk about therapy dogs, K-9 Unit dogs, shorebirds, training pets, reptiles and amphibians. At the end of the day, all the kids would leave and we would have to clean up and feed the animals. Finally, all of the counselors and Junior Camp Leaders would meet with each other and we would talk about our day and things we could change. My experience was a good one, and I am recommending for myself to go back next summer if I am invited to participate again.

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