Sixth grade camp counselors overwhelmed

The counselors spent their time at Camp Fitch leading and participating in various activities, such as candle making with the kids.

Mr. Paul Destino

The counselors spent their time at Camp Fitch leading and participating in various activities, such as candle making with the kids.

Morgan Tropf, Staff Writer

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Numerous upperclassmen recently went to Camp Fitch as sixth grade camp counselors. Counselors agreed to miss three school days which caused a lot of stress upon returning to school.

Junior counselor Nikki Davis was overwhelmed with the amount of work she had to make-up after camp. “When I got back, I had a lot of work to do because even just missing one day at school feels like missing a month, so missing three days was so much. I made sure before we got back to check all my classes’ Schoology pages to see what each teacher had on the calendar and if I didn’t know what something was, I emailed them. I really tried to get everything done during Labor Day weekend, although it did take a little while to catch up in classes,” she said.

Junior Joanna Giju thinks some teachers were more helpful than others. Giju said, “Some teachers were accommodating and had worksheets made up for us in advance for the following lesson, so I got those worksheets before; but, other teachers didn’t give us anything and just said to make it up when we came back.”

AP Psychology teacher Brittany Pumphrey presented all of her lesson plans before camp, making it her students’ responsibility to be prepared for the test the next day. Pumphrey said, “They knew ahead of time what they were going to miss on the days they were gone because I give them a monthly calendar so they knew during the first couple days of school what they were going to miss the three days that they were at camp. This allowed them to work ahead because they knew they would have assignments to make up from other classes too.”

Even with the work given ahead of time, Giju was preoccupied with preparing for camp. She said, “The night before I went to camp, I had time to do my work and start up all the homework. I just didn’t want to because I was so excited to go to camp.”

AP student Monica DiFranco admits that she should have better prepared for missing classes. “It would have helped to bring some of the work to camp so I could do it while the kids were sleeping or during some of our down time,” she said.

Camp is designed to be a team building experience for sixth graders as they transition to middle school. Pumphrey said, “I think the timing is kind of rough right at the beginning just because everyone is adjusting to the new school year but I understand it based on weather conditions, especially because they are staying outside in cabins. I understand the timing has to be I just think it puts a lot of pressure on the kids that are going to be counselors, but they knew that going in.”

All in all, DiFranco was grateful for the opportunity to be a counselor at sixth grade camp and enjoyed spending time with the kids. “I’d go back to camp next year, but I would try to better prepare my school work before I left,” she said.

Sixth grade camp is a big time commitment, and tests the counselors dedication as students. Pumphrey said, “I think as long as they have good time management skills, I would recommend going to camp because kids have told me they enjoy being counselors and enjoy the experience. But if time management is an issue, it can get kind of tricky juggling everything when they get back.”

Although the days the counselors were away at camp were filled with smiles, they would quickly fade as they learned all of the work they would be faced with. Photo by Monica DiFranco.

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