Eli’s Summer Service at Ocean Beach Youth Group

This summer I worked at a day camp in Ocean Beach, a town in Fire Island. I was a group counselor for the 8 year olds, which entailed walking the kids from activity to activity and playing with them while at activities. I swam in the ocean with my group, played sports with my group, went fishing with my group, and much more, including using countless strategies to try to get the kids to walk faster. Despite my role as an authority figure over the kids, the bond I formed with several of the kids created such a friendly environment that was fun for the kids and me as well. I won’t forget the moment when I asked one of my campers what his favorite activities were, and he responded, “I like sailing…and I like boating a lot too, but I think my favorite is playing with you.” Bonding with my 8 year olds as the summer went on was rewarding, but what was most rewarding was knowing that I was helping out the Ocean Beach Youth Group (OBYG) community. I have been going to this camp summer after summer ever since I was a camper at 4 years old and have grown up seeing the same kids every year. I still see my old counselors on the beach on the weekends, many of whom have jobs during the week in the city. From┬áthe close relationships that I’ve developed and the memories that I’ve cherished, the OBYG community has given so much to me. It was beyond meaningful to be able to help the community that is so special to me.

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