8 Things To Look Forward To

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Today marks the end of training week for our Puentes al Futuro (Bridges to the Future) Camp Counselors. This is the third year that the Center for Community Engagement and Eastern are hosting this camp and we are so excited to have these counselors with us! 

For the past four days, they have attended workshops on: working with middle school students, how to engage English Language Learners (ELL), and how to meet a child where he/she is at in his/her academic development and guide him/her towards an academic milestone. They have spent hours putting together enrichment and elective activities for the kids to play. Many an icebreaker has been played, and there has been much reminiscing about their own childhood camp memories. 

Puentes is unlike your typical camp. Specifically tailored to at-risk ELL youth, the focus is shared between providing academic support with giving a forum for the students to develop their individual identity though exploring their cultural heritage(s). The program also runs after school sessions during the school year which families can elect to enroll their children in. Thus, Puentes allows for the kids to build meaningful relationships with the Puentes staff. The Camp Counselors, all Eastern students, are given the opportunity to volunteer in the after school program during the academic year or re-apply as Camp Counselors during the summer. The kinds of positive change that occurs in the students, whether they participate in either the camp or the after school program is incredible to watch, let alone be a part of.

So, on their last day of training, we asked a few of the Counselors what they were most excited for. Here are their responses:

  •   "As an alumna, I look forward to working with these students every summer. I can't wait to see their smiles!"
  •   "I am looking forward to getting to know the students I'll be mentoring over the summer." -Bryan
  •  "I am looking forward to the kids coming and learning new things."
  •  "I am looking forward to a great and fun experience with the kids."
  •  "I am excited to learn about the different cultural experiences that will happen over the summer."
  •  "I hope to guide the students towards finding a passion that they really love and steer the students away from negative influences."
  •   "Three days instead of two, and almost double the amount of kids that we had least year! Trained counselors ready to pour all their energy into making this camp a great experience for the kids in our community. I can't wait for the first day of camp! It is going to be great. I expect that the kids, counselors, and staff will have an unforgettable experience." -Rosie, Camp Director
  •  "I'm excited to see young people from our community growing academically through our camp while learning and exploring  their own and their friends' cultural identities." -Luis, Assistant Director of the Center for Community Engagement

Be sure to check back for some upcoming posts about what everyone at the camp is up to!  


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