110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Community engagement can have an impact on your future
posted Jul 23, 2013 - 1:52:53pm
In DeLand, there are educational opportunities during the summer months for youth ages 15-18 that have significant value. One in particular is working as a volunteer for children ages 4-12 at Camp Create at the Museum of Florida Art.
Camp Create’s curriculum is more than just an explorational tour through the art world, the camp offers families a positive environment for their children from June to August, exposing them to unique art-integrated learning. Equally valuable are the opportunities for teens to interact with children and other young adults in the community, and the enriching experience from completing the many tasks and responsibilities assigned by professional art teachers. The exposure to artistic intelligence in return for volunteering is really invaluable.
The benefits to this “work” are numerous. Giving of your time provides teens with hours needed for school and special programs aimed toward scholarships. You also get to meet and network with people who can offer advice and assistance on college and job applications. Children also look up to teens, and may follow in their footsteps.
Mary Parrot, a 15-year old Camp Create volunteer, attended camp for several years when she was younger. “Art camp is good entertainment for the kids,” said Mary. “It was something I looked forward to as a child.”
“What better way to get hours than to volunteer in an atmosphere surrounded by art and children,” said 15-year-old International Baccalaureate student Zoelmys Ramos, also from DeLand High.
“Student Volunteers are a critical component of our Camp Create program,” said Museum of Florida Art Curator of Education Pam Coffman. “Their assistance to our teachers and campers allow us to provide an engaging, creative and educational experience. By volunteering, it demonstrates that students have initiative, motivation and a community spirit, which will benefit them in their future endeavors.”
Whether you decide to help a neighbor mow their lawn or walk their dog, assist with shelving books at the library, push seniors in a wheelchair at a retirement community or help cut paper shapes and operate a glue gun at a museum’s art camp, volunteering contributes to the growth of a community, exposes you to new occupations and related tasks, and is extremely satisfying.
Discover the areas and businesses that welcome youth volunteers by visiting your local museum, library, veterinarian, hospital, chamber or city hall. You’ll be happy you did, and find that the benefits from volunteering far outweigh those from receiving a good grade or even a job promotion.
— Ashley Thibodeau is a DeLand High School IB senior
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