Grow Your Skills, Be a Junior Counselor

Grow Your Skills, Be a Junior Counselor

Abby Fortune is a junior at Freeport High School and one of the many teens who have taken part in our Junior Counselors program. We sat down with Abby to learn more about what she took away from her time as a Junior Counselor: 
 
What important skills did you learn as a JC? 
 
Some of the most important skills I learned while being a JC were how to think on the spot, ask excellent questions, and be responsible for my needs as well as others’ needs.  
 
What was your favorite age group to work with as a JC? 
 
My favorite age group to work with was the seedlings, ages 6, 7, and 8. I love this group because they are still young enough to have lots of questions and enjoy playing games while also having a lot of their own opinions. These little people are so wise and ask all the questions that I feel like I am “too old” to ask. 
 
What has been a takeaway of your time as a JC? 
 
After being a JC last summer, I spent four months studying in New York City. It was a big contrast to go from a transformative experience at a farm to another one in a city! However, so many of the skills I acquired through being a JC aided me in my term in the city. Farm Camp was excellent practice for learning through experience rather than memorizing facts.  
 
I also learned how to stay calm in stressful situations and think of solutions on the spot. I learned a lot about being kind and asking questions. Being a JC brought out an inquisitive and motivated side of myself that I hadn’t seen before. This version of myself is responsible, friendly, and has a lot of energy. 
 
What was it like to work with the Farm Camp Educators? 
 
I found a lot of value in being surrounded by all of the educators. Talking about how their lives have played out so far and how they chose the path they are on — whether it was college or some other adventure — was reassuring in my ideas about my future as someone who, in not too long, will be entering the adult world (eek!). 
 
Lastly, we asked Abby to describe one of her favorite memories from her experience in the program: 
 
“I spent five weeks last summer as a Junior Counselor at Wolfe’s Neck Center. In my last week, I was with an educator who encouraged campers to bring a book to “super awesome journal time”. In light of this, I thought it would be fun if I brought some of my favorite books from when I was little.  
 
One day, towards the end of the week, our group had a different activity during this time slot but everyone still wanted to read. So, right after lunch we all sat on the rocks right outside the tent together and I read some books aloud. That moment felt so surreal to me as previously I never would have imagined myself being capable or comfortable with ten kids surrounding me.  But there I was, reading books to 7 and 8 year-olds, completely in my element.” 
 
This signifies what being a JC is all about: having a fun time with the campers, but also growing your own confidence in a leadership role.  If you are between ages 15-17, apply to be a Junior Counselor for our summer Farm Camp. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience! 
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