Student looks back on summer counseling work with campers

With fall already in the air, four VC students look back on the diverse summer activities they took part in and the insights they gained along the way / Courtesy of Anja

[In honor of the first issue since summer break, we want to showcase some of the student body’s summer breaks. Ranging from working as a camp counselor to apprenticing at a tattoo shop, these four varied narratives provide insight into different Vassar students’ interests and summer experiences.]

This summer I worked at Camp Wediko in Windsor, NH. It was a therapeutic camp and challenging to say the least. As a psychology major, I was enthusiastic about the idea that Wediko offered a typical camp experience for kids with behavioral and emotional challenges who would normally not be able to attend camp. It was a 45-day program and was founded on immersion therapy, so for 45 days we did everything that the kids did, serving as a support system throughout the entire day. Each day consisted of a variety of activities, such as mountain biking or swimming, group therapy and a special evening activity such as a movie night.

After a full day of activities, the counselors and their students enjoy the outdoors at Wediko Camp, overlooking the water at sunset. / Courtesy of Christine Lederer

I was put with the oldest girl group, which ranged from 15 to 17 years old. Working with them was truly one of the most exhausting, yet rewarding, experiences I’ve had. We had a one-to-one staff ratio so we could give each girl the attention she deserved to keep her grounded throughout the activities. The work with the girls was definitely painful and frustrating at points, but it was just as much enlightening and empowering. Additionally, the opportunity to learn from my fellow staff, some of whom had masters and doctorates, and to see their clinical approach to each situation was invaluable. I’m incredibly grateful for my experience at Wediko this summer and would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the field of psychology or social work.

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