Figure 1. Above is a photo of all the attendees from 2017's fishing derby!
This job has definitely helped me improve my ability to work with children! From watching my peers, and other site staff, I've been able to make a positive impact to the youth! I'm constantly engaging them to think beyond what is typically stereotyped of children, by making them think about others, being considerate, working together as a team and engaging them to push their comfort zones to try new things! I have seen plenty of children who were too scared to touch crabs over these past two years, but the moment a staff debunks the possibility of being pinched by holding the crab in a particular way, the shy and afraid are quickly picking up crabs left and right! It's an amazing thing to see a child who was afraid of something just minutes beforehand, change attitudes like a flip of a coin to voluntarily pull up crab traps! The youth have also started being more curious and observant, asking about hooks or "what is this creature?" They take notice to any slight movements in the touch tank and have observed what looks like to be small shrimp, tunicets, and other weird creatures that I myself have yet to uncover their names! The youth are brimming with happiness at these camps as they learn the joy of kayaking! So much, to the point where the day would just start at Pier's park and I would have at least 3 harbor explorers request for me to take them out kayaking! The everyday smiles to their constant display of goofiness are priceless moments that you can't fabricate!
Figures 2 & 3. Jordin a Harbor Explorer is showing her enjoyment of being a box for the day at Pier's Park program for six to ten year olds!
Encouraging the growth of the youth is definitely a rewarding experience! Somewhere down the line I can see myself working as a teacher or camp counselor! You also get a chance to see the Junior program assistants grow as well! These high school students sometimes start off a little shy towards children, but once they warm up and get a sense of how to interact with the youth, they are amazing at showing their talents in dancing and comedy!
It is always a pleasure for me to work with Save the Harbor/ Save the bay, I can't wait to show you all my next blog post!