This past Saturday, junior counselors from each SUP camp came together for a day of inspiration, training, and planning for the summer ahead. Leaders Directors Yasmin Issari, Rachelle Alfred, Janae Hughes, Anni Kim, and Ali Welch along with PBHA staff hosted JC Training to train junior counselors on curriculum design and outdoor education, among other things.
Katiana Monestine, a JC for CYEP, says, “The training was a good refresher for the summer.” Returning for her second year as a JC, she said she is excited to positively influence her oldest girls campers.
Wen Ping Gao of CHAD is excited to teach third graders this summer. She will be returning as a SCIT (senior counselor in-training) which means she will have more training and responsibilities at camp. “As a returner, it is exciting to meet all the new JCs. I’m looking forward to giving advice and help when they need it.” She adds, “Everyone in CHAD is like all of my family—it is like a real family.
“The JCs in my life and being a JC myself has shaped me into the leader I am today.” – Rebecca Pierre
Rebecca Pierre, a two-year returning director of South Boston Outreach Summer who was also a former camper and junior counselor, welcomed all of the junior counselors during opening ceremonies. With boundless energy, Rebecca emphasized that “As a returner, you [junior counselors] can have a huge impact.” She went on to say, “The JCs in my life and being a JC myself has shaped me into the leader I am today.”
PBHA’s model of continuously engaging students in programs from camper to director is not at all rare. Xavier Rivera, one of the directors from the Mission Hill Summer Program, talked about how cool it is to see Henry Santana, a JC from when he was a senior counselor return as the oldest boys counselor of the camp. “It’s cool because our bond is getting stronger—our mentoring process is on a new level.” Xavier spoke about how cool it is coming back as a director and seeing new and returning JCs teach other new tips and tricks.
CYEP director, Javion Rookard was a junior counselor last summer. This summer marks the seventh summer Javion has spent with CYEP. Looking forward to the summer, Javion says, “I definitely want to push the junior counselors.” He continues, “As a former JC, I know that JCs have a lot of untapped potential, and I want to tap into that potential this summer. SUP is a chance for everyone to grow, all the way from camper to director.”