By Olga Remesha, Mic McMullen, Julie Cusano, and Niki Navarro, AmeriCorps members serving as Recruitment and MarComm Directors for Camp City Year.
Every year, City Year New Hampshire hosts Camp City Year, a four-day educational camp during the February break. Camp City Year provides a space for students to continue learning in a safe and engaging environment when school is not in session. It is completely run and organized by first year AmeriCorps members, which provides valuable leadership opportunities! Each member of the camp leadership team has an important role to play – whether it is creating lessons, contacting potential donors, designing the way that camp itself will look, discussing camp logistics, or exploring creative ways to advertise and recruit students. Every Monday and Thursday, our Camp City Year team comes together to do this and shares our thoughts and ideas with one another. On the camp leadership team, there are four main departments that work together to ensure the success of camp: Camp Directors, Program Directors, Operations Directors, and the Marketing and Communications Directors.
The oversight of making sure that all processes for camp are successful is led by City Year Impact Manager Quinci Worthey. When asked what he is most excited for about camp, he shared, “I’m super excited for the leadership opportunities that is given to corps members. Additionally, I’m excited for the children to have a very educational and fun experience over their winter break!”
The Camp Directors, Monique Legault and Meredith Haney, are currently working on ensuring that each group is meeting deadlines to keep the camp schedule on time. “We are currently planning the overarching mystery challenge that goes on throughout the week,” Meredith explains. When asked about what the most exciting part about being Camp Directors was, Monique says, “It’s really fun to look at all the creativity within each team. Overseeing all the little pieces has been a really exciting and rewarding experience.” As Camp Directors, they are responsible for approving lessons, facilitating camp meetings, overseeing application collection, and managing all the little “behind the scenes” details that influence the outcome of camp.
Our Program Directors have been creating exciting curriculum for students ages kindergarten through fifth grade around our main theme, “A Closer Look”. With this theme, the four-day camp is broken up into the following subcategories: ancient cultures, space, the human body, and the deep ocean. Saege Robinson and Steph Resila, two of the Program Directors, have a vision of “gearing lessons towards science – because it’s something the students don’t necessarily get to do every day. We are very excited about our lessons, which have a hands-on approach. We hope it will get them eager about school and science.”
Annika Bell, the Art Program Director, shares her passion for art: “I am enthralled to have the opportunity to expose my students to different facets of human life before their time, but also allow them to use their own artistic interpretation of what I plan to teach them”.
Camp City Year also incorporates a daily physical education program (P.E). When following up with the City Year P.E. programmers, they were working on their lesson for the camp’s space—themed day. Andrew Redlund, who will be a P.E. teacher during camp, explained that he is incorporating “astronaut stretching” to warm up, followed by a dodgeball-styled meteor game as well as other team games that will demonstrate the importance of communication for astronauts while in space.
Our Operations Directors focus on asking local businesses and organizations for donations and materials to ensure our students have the best camp experience possible, as well as work in conjunction with the Program Directors to make sure they have all the materials they need to execute their lessons at camp. They have been intentional about gathering diverse ideas on their team to create a cohesive vision and feel for Camp City Year. They have also championed a contest where AmeriCorps members sent in designs for a Camp City Year t-shirt that will be created for all the students who attend!
As the Marketing and Communications team, we have been working on creating camp application forms, flyers, and training AmeriCorps members on how to advertise Camp City year in their schools. We have done a great deal of planning around figuring out the best ways to recruit students and get them excited about attending! This role requires us to use skills beyond what we use in our daily school service, which has proven to be a tremendous opportunity for our professional growth.
By bringing our talents together, we envision a successful week filled with knowledge and joy. We hope that you will follow us all as we get ready to take a closer look together in February!