HAWS Kids 'N Critters Summer Camp ended last week after a 10 week run. One of the things that made it especially wonderful was that we had three dedicated volunteers from our school year Critter Club helping out our camp staff. While Camden, Melissa and Mia didn't come every day, these teens probably came about half the time -- which is incredible considering how kids generally look forward to the freedom that summer vacation can give them!
Our volunteers helped clean up after campers, ran games with the kids, got supplies and animals for the counselors, and helped with supervision. They were enthusiastic and went above and beyond our expectations!
At the end of camp we gave them each thank you cards signed by each of the staff along with a gift card for $10 to Culvers. I wanted them to know how much we truly appreciated their hard work, dedication and sacrifice of part of their summer, and hoped the cards made them feel appreciated.
I was truly touched at their reactions. Mia became teary eyed, Melissa objected to the gift card because she kept saying that she was volunteering as a camp assistant because she enjoyed it, not because she expected to get anything, and Camden also said that he enjoyed coming and helping out at HAWS. All three were very surprised and touched by their thank yous, and that made it worth it.
My hope is that our gratitude made an impression on them and they understand how valued they are.