Youth Volunteer Volunteer Spotlight – Thank you Bodhana!
PIN facilitated a Youth Engagement Project, which took place over the summer to engage youth and support them to obtain Community Involvement hours. This project was funded by the City of Guelph through the Emergency Grant.
The project provided youth with the opportunity to work with PIN through curaCitted volunteer opportunities for youth and DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Volunteer Opportunities; a unique opportunity inviting youth to complete tasks based on weekly themes and give back to their community. Additionally, it allowed youth to volunteer in their own setting and at their own pace. The DIY Opportunities provided youth with a weekly theme, readings and prompted actions and questions. You can read more about the DIY Opportunities here.
To complement the Youth Engagement Project, PIN is highlighting youth who are volunteering in their community either. One such volunteer is Bodhana S. who volunteered with Active Scholars Basketball Camp. Bodhana is currently in grade 11 at Centennial CVI. She plays basketball and is an avid STEM enthusiast, making her a perfect fit for the camp. Through the two weeks of camp, Bodhana volunteered over 50 hours.
Through this experience, Bodhana had this to say:
Her responsibilities included:
My responsibilities included assisting the camp manager and staff run basketball drills, emotionally supporting & connecting with campers and answering any questions they had, helping with a variety of STEM activities (e.g. building sturdy newspaper towers, coding, stop-motion animation, virtual reality, etc.), and cleaning up.
What she took away from the experience:
The experience was invaluable; I had the pleasure of working with my local neighbourhood kids and gained real-time exposure to the teaching and event management professions on and behind the scenes. I witnessed the extent to which kids can improve their abilities with support and regular practice and observed the staff coordinate lessons, lunch, guest speakers, necessary technology, COVID-19 protocols, and parents, all while tackling unpredictable situations. In terms of personal development, I discovered my spontaneous problem solving ability and the art of listening.
What she enjoyed about the experience:
The entire experience was both enjoyable and fulfilling, but my favorite has to be watching the Women’s Olympic Soccer Final with the coaches and kids on the last day of camp—the tight penalty shootout made it ever more memorable. Holding our breaths in silence, willing one another to keep our eyes open, and celebrating together as the last penalty was scored by Canada manifested how much we had grown as a family. I cherished my conversations with the campers on the small joys and problems that shape their lives and the flexibility to volunteer full-day or half-day shifts was very accommodating.
How could the experience been better:
As a first-time volunteer at the camp, I would have appreciated being provided a write-up of the activities planned to clarify my responsibilities beforehand. I would also suggest incorporating live science experiments (e.g. homemade snow, exploding foam) and basketball drills to engage younger kids, have all the campers sit together for lunch to foster new friendships, and incorporate outdoor games into the program.
Bodhana’s experience volunteering in the community with Active Scholars shows how through volunteering one can learn about themselves and from others. In addition, volunteering has the opportunity to be memorable for the volunteer, those in which they work with and the organization itself.
Thank you Bodhana for your volunteer contributions; the future is bright with volunteer examples like yours!
For more information, contact Vanessa Lodge, Communications & Program Coordinator, at [email protected]