I feel like a school-age child all over again. In April of this year, I started wishing that the sweet freedom of summertime would hurry up and get here. I was checking my mailbox every single day to see if a new Summer Program application was in there, ordering this and that to make sure we had enough supplies, and having planning meetings with fellow co-workers who would reassure me that summer was just around the corner. Just as they said, summer did arrive in all of its heat and haste. Now, it feels like I blinked…and it’s over!
I guess the old saying that “time flies when you’re having fun” is in fact true. In June and July of 2016, The Baddour Center hosted 39 young men and ladies for our 2nd Annual YOUR Summer Program, and boy, did we have a blast!
Although all four sessions had a similar schedule, the groups of 10 male or female participants each week created a totally different atmosphere, and each group holds their own unique (silly, challenging, action-packed, monumental, and plain ol’ funny) memories in my mind. It’s so crazy how “camp” enables individuals – from participants to staff – to bond in such a short amount of time. But, it happens. Trust me. As a matter of fact, tears pricked my eyes every Friday when my new friends would load up in their parents’ cars to go back home.
I cannot begin to describe the impact that all 39 of these individuals had on my life – or the incredible co-workers that I learned to value for their expertise, patience, and flexibility.
Our day started at 7:00am (even earlier for staff members) and didn’t end until lights out at 9:30pm (unless you had a movie buff counselor who stayed up and watched silly movies with you), and needless to say, our schedule was packed: morning energizers with sing-alongs and a devotion, music, art, gym or outdoor activities (such as water games or making sensory bottles), swimming pool, and sometimes a siesta. Our evening activities ranged from paddle boating and making s’mores to karaoke and the big finale: the talent show.
Some of us tried new activities that we had never done before; others were so brave in staying away from mom and dad for the first time ever. Like the fun memories, watching people grow in a one week span is invigorating!
To all of the families who chose us to take care of your loved one during the summer of 2016, thank you for the opportunity to spend a week with your sons and daughters. I can only hope that they had as much fun as we did and that we made as big of an impression on their lives as they did on ours.
To all of the “campers” that hung out with us Baddour staff members for a week of your summer, we miss you and hope to see you next year!
If you want to see pictures of the each session, you can find the albums on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BaddourCenter.
By: Cassie Smith, Resident Recruitment and Admissions