Many hands are needed to ensure FortWhyte Alive Summer Day Camp runs smoothly: one Camp Director, three Section Coordinators, a Lifeguard and 110 Volunteer Camp Counsellors. Youth counsellors ages 14-19 represent FortWhyte in all connections with campers and their parents. They need to be mature and professional in manner, at the same time being enthusiastic and fun each day. John Hrynchuk is one of these camp counsellors.
John started coming to FortWhyte as a camper when he was 10-years-old. After his final year as a Fox Bay camper, he applied to be a counsellor. John was keen to take on this role because he enjoyed being outside, had good summer memories, and wanted to recreate these times for other campers.
2015 will be John’s fourth year as a counsellor. He says he returns each year because he enjoys being with the kids, and has made friends. The counsellor role has taught him how to be a good leader and communicate well with a group of children. He now sees situations as a leader rather than “going with the flow”– understanding what it takes to create an experience that makes camp special. John uses these skills on his resumé, and will have the Volunteer Manager as a reference when applying for employment.
John recommends interested youth apply for the position for Summer Day Camp Counsellor if they want to gain leadership experience, if they have dedication to working with children and love being outside in all kinds of weather. “The FortWhyte camp counsellor experience will push you to understand that even when you don’t feel like making the effort, you have to, because there is a room full of kids waiting for you.”
After their training, counsellors can volunteer in the spring, winter and more summer day camps. Other opportunities such as working at School Volunteer Fairs, Trick or Treat in the Forest, or Easter Egg Hunts are available during the year. Volunteer hours for school credits are easily obtained by FortWhyte counsellors.
John is in Grade 11, and this year he participated in the Kelvin High Volunteer Fair promoting FortWhyte Alive Summer Camp Counsellor positions to his fellow students. His volunteer time is in addition to getting up at 5 am for his rigorous speed skating training in preparation for the Canada Winter Games in Prince George, BC. He has certainly learned how to push himself while having fun, and FortWhyte Alive is fortunate to have volunteer counsellors like John each summer.
FortWhyte Alive thanks Lafarge, FWA's Volunteer Program Sponsor.