Guest post by Jenna Dwy, CP2018 Intern:
Wow! It’s hard to believe that summer has finally come to an end and with it, my internship with Camp Promise. It was a dynamic summer full of new ideas, projects, friends, teammates, and a better version of myself.
I learned the logistics of what goes into making a nonprofit program like Camp Promise happen. It takes a lot of resourcefulness, creativity, and courage to bring in vendors, supplies, grants, and most importantly, the people to make big ideas happen. With a strong team that listens to everyone, from campers to volunteers to parents, we successfully created an experience that we all shared and enjoyed together as a community.
This summer, I worked on a new staff training initiative to help volunteers feel more prepared before arriving at camp. Each week, our staff received emails about the ins and outs of camp. This allowed them to gain a glimpse of what was in store for them and helped rally their excitement as our countdown got closer and closer.
Additionally, I worked on bringing vendors to all three of our camps. From smoothie trucks to baby alpacas, I found myself Googling and interacting with people I never would have thought of. It was an amazing experience to reach out to strangers, receive generosity from them, and share with them the joys of camp.
My last project was a social action initiative, called Camp Promise Gives Back. At Camp Promise-West, we asked our staff, volunteers, campers, and their families to bring in canned food to donate to Rainier Valley Food Bank. We have been so lucky to receive such generosity from our surrounding community over the years, so the purpose of this initiative was to model this ourselves and pay it forward. Thank you again to everyone for the success of our first Camp Promise Gives Back!
My internship has been crucial for my heart and soul, but also for my professional development. Now that summer and camp is over, I am back at UConn and am starting the process of applying to graduate schools for a dual degree in social work and public administration. When applying to schools of social work, committees look to see how I have applied my studies to my experiences, work, and volunteer life. For public administration, admissions have asked me to draw upon my experiences in leadership, volunteering, and creativity. I tell everyone and every school about my camp internship because I know Camp Promise has been really formative in helping me figure out what I want to do next. When I finally graduate, I hope to have set myself up, academically and in terms of work experience, to take advantage of many opportunities like social work, nonprofit work, advocacy, and who knows what else!
I have had the summer of my life interning with Camp Promise. Thank you to the Jett Foundation, our camp volunteers, campers and their families, our vendors, and even the squealing pigs, for your support and friendship this summer. I’ll see you next year!
Check out these photos to get a glimpse of what I was really up to this summer:
–Post by Jenna Dwy