As the school year winds down, our after school world is just getting warmed up. We have summer camp registrations to complete, field trips to plan and food to order. All of this is done while staffing for the summer, training new folks and welcoming back familiar faces. Summer camp is a different animal with its own unique set of challenges and rewards. It gives us a chance to get to know our kids a little better because we are spending ALL DAY WITH THEM! The days are long but the weeks are short and soon enough we will find ourselves, once again, gearing up for the school year. In this time of transition, I encourage you to stay strong, keep that twinkle in your eye and in those moments when there are 100 things coming at you all at once, remind yourself that we have been called to do something special.
Not everyone can do our job. Not everyone can handle the logistics of field trips while lending a listening ear to a child that just needs a moment. Not everyone can make sure 100+ students get lunch in a timely manner while getting a Band-Aid for the kid who needs it. Not everyone has the ability to relate to kids, counselors and parents successfully. Last night I attended a performance put on by my daughter’s after school program. At the end, the principal brought out the after school staff and publicly thanked them for their tireless efforts in front of the hundreds of parents in attendance. I know this is a rare occurrence for most of us but seeing the principal, staff and students all recognize the importance of our work made me realize just how necessary we all are. We are not babysitters, we are professionals.