Hey all, this is my first blog post – so before I even get started, I warn you – be patient with me. 🙂
My name is Katie Newhart and I have been working at JCC Rainbow Day Camp for the past 8 summers. This summer will be my 9th. It is crazy to me that this establishment has been a part of my life for almost a decade. When I first got the job at RDC, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had heard about the position from a friend and pursued the opportunity. As a 19 year old college student straight out of freshman year, I had confirmed that I wanted to be a teacher. I thought that the opportunity to work at a day camp would be a perfect way to work with kiddos and to build my resume. Throughout the years I have worked with campers of all ages as a counselor and most recently, as a member of the Administrative Staff. Throughout the years, camp has greatly shaped the person I am today. I have developed friendships with people that I would not trade for the world. I have watched campers grow from being 5 year olds, to beginning middle school. Camp is a place where you can be yourself, have fun, and explore the outdoors. I know that if I hadn’t had this opportunity, I would not be where I am today.
Currently, I am a 4 year old Kindergarten teacher at Urban Day School. This is my first year teaching in my own classroom. I teach in the inner city and many of our students come from less than desirable backgrounds. I am very aware that I may be one of the only consistent people in my students lives and I try to remind myself of that every day. Being a teacher is so many things. It’s rewarding, exhausting, and fun all at the same time. I want to help my students become the best they can be each day and I try to provide them with as many opportunities to grow as possible. With that being said, I recently was given the opportunity to bring my K4 students to RDC. For me, it was a “when worlds collide” situation. Taking my students to a place that means so much to me was amazing. Not only did I get to expose them to a place I love, but they were able to experience so many things they have never had the chance to see before. My students were able to learn about farms, they learned about caterpillars and their life cycle, and got to go on a nature walk and look for patterns in nature. Being able to see them absorb the information was awesome. We had such an amazing time, we will hopefully be able to get some other classes out there before the end of the year!
All in all, RDC is an amazing establishment that has been a gigantic part of my life. It is a place where anyone and everyone can have fun and make new discoveries. I’m beyond grateful that I was able to become a part of the RDC family all those years ago. Make no mistake, RDC is the place to be.