Hawaii Community Service – Tyler Chonoles
This summer I went to Hawaii to do community service. I went with 45 other kids from the tri-state area to the main island, where 20 of us worked at a camp. This camp was called camp aloha, which involved 20 natives who were the campers. The camp was free, and most of these camper’s families were either very poor, or were missing one or both of their parents. Most of these kids could not rely on receiving dinner when they went home after a day of camp.
At the beginning of the summer, all of the teenagers got paired up with a camper, and we had to act as their guardian for the 3 weeks that camp existed. My buddy was a 10-year-old named Josiah. During the morning of every day, we would have circle time, where we would share stories and play games such as ride that pony, or Mr. button man. Everyone really loved these games, so it brought me joy when I saw them having fun.
After circle time, we would have arts and crafts. Arts and crafts would consist of making paper bag faces, etc, or on special occasions such as the 4th of July, making an American flag out of Popsicle sticks. My buddy Josiah did not like arts and crafts, so I had to figure out many different mechanisms to making him join in and participate with the rest of the group.
Later, we would have sports time. Games during sports time would consist of capture the flag, spud, and many others. Josiah absolutely loved sports time, mainly because he was faster and stronger than many other people. Although this was the case, he loved helping people out and teaching them skills.
The whole experience this summer taught me about a whole different world that is separated from the world of private schools in Manhattan. Not only did I teach these kids many things, they taught me a lot; maybe more than I had taught them.