Student stories

Leading adventures on Summer Dayz

Carly Oswald

James Bay Community School Centre

By Carly Oswald

I completed my final co-op placement as a Special Events and Youth Programmer for the James Bay Community School Centre. I gained insight into the inner workings of a not-for-profit organization including planning, programming and budgeting programs and projects that positively impact the community of James Bay.  

This co-op related to my academics and career, as I learned and improved valuable skills and competencies, including planning, organizing and coordinating, problem solving, flexibility, teamwork and cooperation. This co-op put my in class learning in motion. 

Specifically, this co-op placement consisted of two varying roles. One involved planning and administration for a silent auction and youth program. The second role consisted event and program implementation for the youth program, being part of the Summer Adventures team and working with school aged children doing various tasks.  These roles included being a group leader, transit leader, programmer and van driver over the nine weeks the camp took place. This provided me with a broad spectrum of learning opportunities, as they were very different roles. In the first part of my coop I increased my communication and organization skills while planning the silent auction for the community picnic.  In the second part of my coop, I increased my communication, group leading and organization while working with school aged children in a camp setting. 

My duties and responsibilities as a Special Events and Youth Programmer consisted of planning, organizing, facilitating, and evaluating a youth summer program called Summer Dayz.  Summer Dayz was a weekly youth program that got kids out of the house in a social, fun and active setting. I planned and budgeted the program for the summer and then had the opportunity to implement it. From this I learned what went well and where improvements could be made. Furthemore, I had to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all participants by maintaining the program site and by implementing safe, well-organized activities. Prior to the camp starting I had to assist with marketing, advertising, and promotion of the Summer Dayz programs.

In the second half of the summer I supervised children aged 5 - 12 years in our Licensed Out of School Care and Summer Adventures programs. Over the 9 weeks working with Summer Adventures, a summer camp, I took on varying roles every week, from leading groups, directing transit, programming, facilitating activities and far more. I learned to be prepared for anything as working varying roles and working with kids, anything can happen.  

The James Bay Community School Centre is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing the community of James Bay with diverse programs to meet the needs of the community. They provide programs with services from youth to senior. The centre and school are connected, sharing space and resources for the community.  The target audience for the community school centre is the surrounding community members with a large focus on children’s programs as well as providing options for adults and seniors. For example, they have a daycare, preschool, out of school care, sports programs, drop in programs, walking groups, among many more. 

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