This I Believe

Mike - Bloomington, Minnesota
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

What I Believe:

I believe in helping younger children. Even though I am only a teenager myself, I can help younger children. During the summer for the past five years, I have worked at a YMCA day camp called Camp Kici Yapi. I used to be a camper there so I know how much of an influence a counselor can be. I have seen many different kids of children, all races, wealthy and poor, small and large, healthy or diseased, abused or loved by their family. When I see a child that my instinct tells me that this camper is being abused somehow, I want to do something. The procedure is that we go to the office at the camp and tell Dave, our boss. But, sometimes, that is not enough because there is not enough evidence to show that this child is being abused. So, I do what I do the job for: love the child, care for him or her, and help him or her to get them through their life at home.

One camper that I tried to help and succeeded for the time being was a little black boy named Damorie. It was a two week group and I had these kids for the second week of them being together; the counselor before me warned me about the group and laughed when he found out that I had this group – the first day was awful. There were three fights the worst day, and I knew that this cannot be just the child’s doing, the parent must be somehow involved. Damorie was not physically abused at home, but he showed signs and tried to tell me once that home was not fun for him sometimes. The next day he got into another fight with a different camper who also had many problems, but my focus was on turning Damorie around and hopefully having a lasting impact on him. Now I have to say that there are not many fights at this camp and that this was the first group I have ever had that was this bad. Damorie could not keep his hands to himself and I talked and talked about it, but that did not work; I then sat down with him while the rest of the group was having fun and talked to him, he then changed. He laughed the rest of the day and did not get into another fight the rest of the week; hopefully I had a lasting impact on him.

I believed I could help Damorie and that I could help kids with problems, or no problems, just making their life even better. This is just one situation counselors have to deal with, but we deal with them because we want to help the children, I dealt with this problem because I wanted to help Damorie, maybe save him from doing bad decisions later on in life. To just let a child go and not help the child when he or she is in need is plainly wrong, who knows what could happen to the child in ten years; the children learn best from role models at a young age. I believe we can all help children.