Hello! My name is Sean den Hollander, and I am one of the SCYP PAs this year. I was a PA last year as well, and I have to say, I think I liked last year a bit more. Nonetheless, I’m still super pumped to get the camp spirit out there in these uncertain times.
Last year, I applied to be a PA because throughout the time I was a participant, camp was my safe place. Every year, I would reunite with my other family for a week and truly felt like I could be myself. When I got the invitation to continue camp via staffing, it was a no-brainer. It was impossible for me to know it at the time, but when I first walked into staff training in 2016, I was starting down one of the greatest paths I’ve ever walked. I know I’m in my early 20s and that doesn’t mean much, but staffing has offered me the opportunity to meet so many other stellar people and truly develop myself. Once you’ve staffed with someone, you’ve bonded for life.
So why am I a PA? I’m halfway through an education degree right now. If you know any teachers who staff, they’ll all tell you that camp is basically teacher training. My primary reason for PAing and wanting to be a teacher is the impact you can truly have on a child’s life. Children spend almost as much time with their teachers as they do their own family. Some maybe even more. There are far too many youths out there without decent family situations and proper role models. Wanting to provide them with that is what keeps me going.
I’ll be honest – I’m not super optimistic for the future right now. Earth is a mess, ya’ll. However, being able to see both the adults and youth that are going to be our next leaders gives me so much hope. I’m already pretty cool, but these campers are forcing me to step up my game. The aspirations I’ve heard from them are truly awe-inspiring. Last summer I met a youth who was already active in climate action marches. He was 12. At that age, all I cared about was Batman and Lego. Sometimes both at the same time. Point being, I have immense faith that the next generations will be capable of dealing with any problem thrown at them.
PAing is truly a step up. Instead of camp permeating your brain for a couple weeks, it envelops it for the whole summer. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ask any staffer – camp is a state of mind and the best cult they know. As PA, I get to flex my creative & goofy side, organize things, and give back to the program that has given me so much. This year may be just a little different, but that’s not going to stop me doing my best to spread camp joy when we need it the most.
Hi! My name is Nicole Rowlett. I am a business student at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. This year I completed my Business Certificate. Next year, I will be going into my second year, in hopes to get a double diploma in marketing and management. I wanted to be a program assistant this year because of my love for the Co-op Camp. I have recently finished going through the program myself, gaining lifelong friends, and having it help shape me into the person I am today. What Co-op Camp stands for and what it teaches youth are values that are very important to me. The positivity and inclusivity of this environment is a powerhouse for my year. Being a program assistant, is also a great opportunity for me to get experience in a business setting and save money for school, all while doing the things I love most about summer. The Co-op Camp community is one that I am proud to be a part of. It is such a positive, warm, and uplifting environment that I can not seem to want to let go of. I wanted the opportunity to give back all that I have received from co-op camp and this is the perfect way to do so.
This year is unique from all the others. Camp being cancelled this summer has put a damper on many of our summers. However, we do not have to let Covid-19 win in our quest to grow as people. Co-op Camp has always been an opportunity to learn and connect with the people around you. Though it will not be our regular Co-op Camp experience. I believe that with a little creativity and the known enthusiasm from campers and staff, that the Co-op Camp spirit can survive Covid-19.
This is an opportunity to bring Co-op Camp home and spread the love, knowledge, and community that comes with it. We are working to help you bring camp home this summer and keep your spirits high. We can use this time to connect with our families and still have the fun that everyone was looking for. I hope that with all this time on our hands, we can use it positively to connect with people that regular life was too busy for. Being connected with people is crucial when it comes to keeping spirits high (especially for me), and luckily, we live in a time where it is easier than ever to have a video group chat. I have recently done the same with my year of camp friends and it gave me a lot of energy to get up and out of my sweats. I truly believe that this is what we make it. Although this summer is not going to be exactly what we had planned it can still be a time where we connect, grow, and have fun.
To end, I recently watched a video that I believe portrays Co-op Camp and the positivity that it spreads, and it goes as follows.
“Hello, A smile can be very contagious, you can catch it like the flu. Someone smiled at me today, and I started smiling too. When I went around the corner, this guy seen my grin. When he started smiling, I knew I passed it on to him. Then I got to thinking just what a smile is worth. A smile like ours could travel all around the earth. So, if you feel a smile coming on, don’t keep it undetected. Smile at someone next to you and we will get the whole darn world infected.”
We hope to see you in one of our virtual meet-ups this summer! Check the website or any of the SCYP social media for updates!