Volunteering at our Arts Explosion Camps

In this week’s blog, we hear from our Volunteer Coordinator Lindsay Morris and long-time Camp Counsellor Bernadette Cruz on the importance—and benefits—of volunteering. Our March Break Camp is coming up, and Guelph Dance is recruiting dedicated and energetic volunteers! Check out our website or contact Lindsay at [email protected] for more information.

Some of our campers enjoying a lunch-time game of tag led by the volunteers.

Lindsay: It has been my pleasure to work with Guelph Dance as the Volunteer Coordinator. I get to witness the incredible impact that our programming has on both participants and volunteers. Watching the personal development of the campers and the counsellors over the course of the week is not only inspiring, but it also reaffirms my belief in what we do as a community organization.

The role of the counsellors is to first and foremost look out for the safety of the campers, and to help create a positive environment where the campers can engage in arts activities without the fear of judgment or competition. The counsellors do not have to be trained dancers, skilled singers, or poised actors—they just have to be willing to try. Our counsellors are great at getting a bit goofy to help the campers feel confident in their abilities.

The counsellors keep busy by participating in the arts activities and helping campers with their own creations, but a lot of magic also happens on breaks, at lunch time, and at pre- or post-camp care. The unstructured time really lets counsellors get imaginative and resourceful, as they lead games, read stories, or swing  a skipping rope to encourage the campers to stay active and make new friends.

Bernadette is seen here entertaining some campers on their snack break.
Bernadette: I volunteered with the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival for all four years of high school. I absolutely loved it, which is probably why I come back year after year! It’s a great way to get volunteer hours and to get involved in the community!  You don’t have to be artistic to be a good counsellor, as long as you have enthusiasm and a sense of responsibility you’ll do just fine. The coordinators are very helpful and the campers have such an infectious energy!

I also thoroughly enjoyed the benefits of being a volunteer, such as festival tickets, camp shirts, and the best recommendation letter around! I also had the opportunity to work with incredible artists and meet other volunteers who have become lifelong friends. I highly recommend volunteering with Guelph Dance at their fabulous camps!

Bernadette helps to demonstrate the dance moves with the Red Group as part of the Arts Celebration that takes place at the end of the camp week.
Lindsay: The camp week always ends on a high note, with a Celebration of the Arts in the Co-operators Hall. The parents get to see their children and the counsellors in action, and there is a strong sense of community appreciation for arts education. Our Arts Explosion Camps would not be possible without the commitment of dedicated volunteers like Bernadette. I am very thankful to all of the volunteers I’ve had the privilege to supervise, as they contribute to the vibrant arts scene and the wellbeing of the kids in our city.

Please visit our website for more details on registering for the camp or volunteering at the camp. 

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