At the Boys & Girls Club of Magic Valley, I was given the opportunity to teach a group of 36 kids a variety of ways to be active in their lives, while making sure to fun doing it. At the Club, we serve 300 to 400 kids every single day - which is absolutely amazing!
The “Kids Adventure Summer Camp” was spread throughout summer in 3 weeks serving 12 kids each week. Thanks to Future Leaders In Action, we were able to go ziplining, kayaking, biking, hiking, and participate in a ropes course. It was incredible having a smaller group for these events; it allowed for much more one-on-one time and deeper bonding with the children.
The most challenging part of coordinating this summer camp was working with kids that had never worked together in challenging ways before and trying to really get them to operate as a team.
Before my fellowship with FLIA, I was already a Coordinator at the Club, which means I had the responsibility of planning summer camps for 5 and 6 year olds, and leading those programs on top of the FLIA-sponsored camps.
Coming into the fellowship, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to manage my time while also continuing my work as a Coordinator. It took about a week for me to really figure out when to plan for the FLIA-sponsored camp, and when to focus on my work for the Club. It was difficult to manage my time, but now I am able to plan farther into the future and account for obstacles. For example - during the day, I dedicated all my energy to the Club Coordinator duties, and worked on the fellowship tasks during the night.
Throughout the fellowship I learned how to manage my time wisely, plan farther ahead, and work through obstacles as they arise. I have strengthened my leadership skills, and understand how to build better connections throughout the community I serve. After taking these skills away from my FLIA fellowship experience, I have moved up a position and am now the Kindergarten Director for Boys & Girls Club of Magic Valley!
Following the FLIA-sponsored "Kids Adventure Summer Camp," I was able to talk to some of the kids that participated and they just went on about how much they truly loved the experience. One child said,
“This camp helped me by having fun and challenging myself.”
This quote really embodies everything that the camp was made for. The focus was to show the youth that there are so many ways to be able to be active, and that it’s okay to try new things. My biggest highlight of the summer camp was being able to help the children feel comfortable and encourage them when they thought they couldn’t do something. It was inspiring to see them try anyway and smile afterward because they did more than they thought they could. So many lives in Magic Valley have been impacted by these summer camps and our youth are so thankful for the opportunity they had, knowing that not every kid gets one similar.
After my amazing experience with FLIA, I hope to continue to gain more skills that it takes to plan impactful programs and ensure that the kids always walk away with a new experience.