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THE ART OF IT Claire Seinsheimer, a junior at St. John’s School, volunteered at The River, a performing arts camp for children with special needs, this summer.
I volunteered at The River, a performing arts camp for children with special needs, for a week this summer. Despite the short amount of time, the experience taught me more than I could have ever imagined. When I walked into the music room on the first morning of camp, the campers’ enthusiasm and contagious smiles overwhelmed me. It was immediately clear that they were excited to be there.
As I talked to the campers, I got to know them fairly well, learning about anything from what they had for breakfast that morning to their favorite country singer. It did not really matter whether we were singing, dancing or just talking, the children seemed happy to be at camp.
In addition to the children at The River, the staff and volunteers stood out to me. Every person I saw was eager to engage in the activities with the campers. The River had such welcoming, caring and kind volunteers and staff members.
Volunteering at The River was also special to me because I was able to catch up with children I had met at Camp Buckaroo and the Special Olympics in years past. I began volunteering with kids with special needs about three years ago, and I saw many familiar faces this summer at The River.
It was exciting to see how much the children had grown and matured over the years. I watched them make crafts at Camp Buckaroo, finish races at the Special Olympics and sing in a show at The River. The smiles and growth were my favorite parts of volunteering.
Bringing joy to children throughout a week of fun performing and visual arts activities at The River was worth every bit of my time. I look forward to volunteering in the future!
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