It’s so hard to believe that this year was my sixth time working in NOLA. It feels like we have always been here but at the same time it feels like it was just yesterday that we traveled here for the first time. Everything is so familiar and you just get right into the groove when you get here. It is so nice to go somewhere where people remember you and genuinely can’t wait for you to arrive.
This year was our biggest year yet. In 2 weeks we were able to hold 4 different camps with over 20 staff members. In this short amount of time, we were able to work with over 250 kids!! So cool! I think a big thing for me is the fact that we continue to get new kids at camp as well as a good chunk of returning kids. It is has been great to watch the kids grow with each year and to continue to learn even more about them. It is so rewarding to hear about their accomplishments! I also love the fact that we continue to have new staff joining us. It is great to see their reactions to what goes on each day and to see them become so excited when they truly understand what we do.
As for me, my role this year was a little different. With a baby on the way, I am a little hindered with the dancing portion of camp, so I took on the Art classes and was the resident lunch lady. It was really fun to take the art classes and expand them to really be a “class”. Just as with dance ,we did a warm-up for each class to get our creative juices flowing before jumping into our project. Our projects consisted of sculptures, mosaics, mobiles and puzzles. It was a really great week in art and the kids really enjoyed it. I had a really fun time trying make the lessons more educational and trying to get the kids to really express themselves through another medium.
Since I am stepping down from my role for a while to become a mom, it has been great seeing other people step up and take on certain camp responsibilities. With more people stepping up to be site directors, it makes me feel better about the program in NOLA continuing in the future. I hope that this continues to happen throughout the year with other organizational responsibilities. IPDC is doing great things and they need to continue!