Back in February, I was offered a position as an instructional tutor at my daughter's elementary school. I was thrilled and scared at the same time. I shouldn't have been scared... the teachers at HES made sure I was fully prepared to help the kids I'd be working with. I had 4 small groups each day that met with me for 30 minutes. I worked with first graders on telling time and counting money. I also got to work with second graders on place value to a million and rounding.
Although I wasn't available to work many hours due to my commitment at the preschool, the hourly pay was worth it. I had a plan in my head that I'd save all of my tutoring money from March, April and May to help supplement my income this Summer when I was home from the preschool.
Then Covid happened. Schools shut down exactly two weeks after I started at HES. I also found out later in April that the funding that paid for this particular position was in jeopardy because of the virus and most likely would not be available for the 2020-2021 school year.
That left me in a difficult position financially. Although my child support and alimony was enough to pay our monthly bills and grocery expenses, you guys know that there's a lot more stuff that comes up every month that doesn't fit nicely in a spreadsheet of reoccurring expenses. Especially with 3 kids. And although I still run my photography business on the side, I knew sessions would be slim in the hot summer months to come.
Luckily my friend Janae posted about Fine Arts Day Camp on FB just as I was contemplating job prospects. Jocelyn attended this camp 3 years ago and LOVED it. We offer kids Dance, Theatre, Music, Art, and Creative Writing classes with session themes like Decades on Broadway, Brick by Brick (Legos), Superheroes, and International Olympics.
It just so happens that Janae was looking for a camp counselor for the youngest campers, the preschoolers. Now, that age is right up my alley!
It's been four weeks and I've loved being part of this wonderful community!
But the best thing of all?
Jocelyn gets to come with me :)
Working at a camp and letting your child attend a camp during a pandemic is certainly interesting. I get to witness first hand the precautions that are being taken and that helps a lot.
1. We temperature check each and every camper and staff member each day.
2. Kids and staff wear masks in all common areas and traveling between classes.
3. Kids are allowed to take their mask off during activities where we can socially distance 6 ft apart.
4. We wash hands or sanitize our hands between each class.
5. Nothing is shared. Everything is sanitized between classes.
6. We can't touch each other. (This one is HARD for us counselors who like to comfort kids, but it cuts down on how many times we have to remind campers to "keep your hands to yourself!")
7. Class sizes are small. Each class sticks together all day.
Knock on wood, a lot, but I feel like our campers' families are all taking this virus very seriously by wearing masks and socially distancing at home when they are not at camp. This has made for a very safe environment at camp.
I'm having so much fun that I'm certain I'll be signing up to do this next summer as well :)