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My first full week with the Museum of Flight ACE camp has ended, and my experience thus far has further reinforced in my mind the conclusion that I already knew before: I love working with kids. They are cute and fun, often rowdy and restless (but their cute-ness totally makes up for that minor flaw), creative (your alien can do what?) and trusting, intelligent and sometimes moody (although that can be either good or bad). To help organize my thoughts (and this blog), I’ve decided to create a list of my three favorite things about working with my ACE campers so far (and remember, this is just week 2).
1. When a Kindergartener loses his treasured Superman backpack, he approaches a counselor and starts crying and won’t stop until one of the counselors has found it tucked away in the back corner of the room. He promptly returns to his spot on the floor, happily enjoying his time with his new friends.
2. On the note of friends, I love that kids can make such fast friends. These kids are together for only a week at a time, but by the end of the week, they’re such great friends. Reminds me of our Duke Engage program, where all 18 of us from different backgrounds and friend groups are thrown together in Seattle. But by the end of week 2, I already feel so much more comfortable around everyone, and I’m loving my time here.
All 18 of us (although not all prepared for the photo) at Safeco field where the Seattle Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox 3 – 2 after 12 long (and cold) innings!
If only life – both at Duke and outside our little bubble – could be like this, where people could be so easily trusted.
3. “Thanks for being my teacher”, a comment made to me right before check-out on the last day of camp this week, to which I had no clue what to reply, for I didn’t see myself as a teacher to these kids, nor did I think I was knowledgeable enough to consider myself a teacher. I was merely their supervisor for a week of flight camp, ensuring that they learned something while still having fun. But this girl showed me that while I do hope the kids learn everything they want to about space and aviation at camp, there are much greater things that they can learn in their time here. These life skills will push them beyond anyone’s expectations in their futures, and I can now see it as my responsibility as their counselor to provide them with these opportunities to learn such qualities. In that sense, I am very much so one of their teachers, and I love that I can play such an important role in their lives. Even if just for a week, every interaction they have will affect their development, just as every interaction I had in my youth and schooling career has affected the way I think, behave, and act now.
On a completely unrelated note, the monthly regional pass does not work at 12:45am on the first of the month for which the pass was bought, as several Duke Engagers and I (much to our disappointment) recently discovered after an hour of the lively time-waster that is Apples to Apples. But the game was entertaining (igloos are hot?) and it was a great experience – being out late getting bubble tea with a group of fun people, so in the end, I’d say that the $2.25 I spent on the bus ride back was totally worth it.