It is always a great and fun experience taking part in the Latinitas Summer Camps. I started as an intern who stayed for the summer to help out with the summer camps. Little did I know that that next summer I would be trusted with the responsibility to lead the summer camp. The opportunity really excited me. I absolutely enjoy being with the girls and at the same time help in setting up awesome field trips and filling their days with inspiring guest speakers as well as fun activities. Once I see all the preparation set into motion with the girls it is absolutely incredible.
Our awesome summer campers really make the camp what it is. Each girl has their own unique personality with their own unique strengths and interests. Seeing girls that come into our camp incredibly shy then in a day become more confident and comfortable to begin acting and engaging in our film projects gives me life. It is the activities that help our girls come together but mostly the credit is due to our campers that make our camps so much fun.
I also have to give incredible credit and thanks to our volunteers and interns that engage with the girls. Whether the volunteers know it or not they are incredible role models for the girls. Seeing teens take the time to be with girls during their summer is something that I greatly respect. I remember during my summers I was killing my brain cells with plenty of television and web browsing. So seeing these girls out there in the community really puts my 16 year old self to shame. Their involvement with Latinitas is very good for the girls to follow their example. In seeing the teens taking the time to empower and support other girls will hopefully encourage our campers to do the same.
For the most part one of our purposes for the camp is to be supportive of one another. Introducing these girls to our incredible and diverse volunteers, interns, and guest speakers can empower our girls in the community to pursue their dreams and goals. The camps help our girls also find out what they enjoy and interest them. We have girls that enjoy writing, art, video making, photography along with other creative fields.
What started out as something that I wanted to do to go along with my major in Social Work turned out to be something I really enjoy doing and continue to do with Latinitas. What I have learned was that not only do the girls benefit greatly with these camps but also their camp leaders. Taking part in these camps has also helped me with my self esteem, confidence and has reassured my path into pursuing my Master's in Social Work. The most rewarding part of these summer camps is the incredible friendships I see developing in our camps with each other but also with me. It make me so proud seeing what they have accomplished in our camps and talking to me about what they have learned and enjoyed in our camps. Helping girls learning how to love themselves and become confident is something I will continue doing no matter where I end up in life.