Liv’s Service Reflection

For two weeks this summer I volunteered at the day camp, Camp Rhythmo, in Lower Manhattan. This program teaches kids, ages 6-11, about nutrition, fitness, science, music, and art; not coincidently, these are the topics most frequently cut from public school education. Camp Rhythmo strives to make sure children have the opportunity to learn and create and be active. Throughout the program kids take part in a wide range of projects such as designing their own molecules, learning to play hand chimes, singing, and participating in dance and yoga classes. In addition, Camp Rhythmo emphasizes the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and every day the kids had ample time to run around and were taught exercises like push-ups, sit ups, and jumping jacks. The kids also learned about what makes a nutritious meal and the value of eating healthy. At the end of the program the kids have a performance where they showcase all they have learned.

As a volunteer at Camp Rhythmo my job consisted of setting up and supervising activities, writing the daily blog, and interacting with the children. I loved getting to know the kids and admired the zeal they brought to each new activity. In addition, it was impressive to see how much the kids learned in such a short period of time. I couldn’t believe that 5-11 year olds were learning about adenosine triphosphate, even if it was on a very basic level. Camp Rhythmo taught me about what it means to be a role model. I wasn’t used to others depend on me so heavily but I found it to be an incredibly fulfilling experience. Many of the younger kids needed help in almost every task: tying shoes, spelling words, even gluing pom-poms on a piece of paper. By helping the kids in even the smallest ways, I learned a valuable lesson in the importance of patience and attentiveness. Additionally, sometimes the kids would quarrel and it was my job to act as mediator. I found that by instructing the kids to clearly express their opinions and emotions I strengthened my own communication skills.

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Liv’s Summer Service Reflection

This summer I went to Argentina with Putney Student Travel. The program I participated in, Language Learning: Argentina, focuses on Spanish language immersion and has a service component as well. For two weeks out of the month long trip our group stayed in a small village called Villa de Las Rosas in the countryside of Cordoba and spent a lot of time working in the community. In total, our group completed sixty hours of community service in Villa de Las Rosas. Our group volunteered at the local school where we painted sets for the community center, built benches and painted elaborate murals on one of the school’s buildings. We collaborated with the local kids (aged16-19) on designing and painting.
Working at the school was extremely gratifying and enjoyable. The kids from the town who worked with us made the experience unforgettable. When we were all either painting or building we would play music, talk, and laugh with one another. By collaborating, working towards a common goal, and serving the community we developed strong connections with the Argentine kids. Because we developed such close relationships with the Argentine kids the work we were doing felt more meaningful and we got to see the difference the work made in the community more closely. At the end of the two weeks when we had completed all of the service projects it was incredible to see how the murals and benches brought so much color and excitement to the school. More than that, the experience showed me how important it is to work together and how meaningful it can be to connect with someone, even if it is just over painting murals.

one of the sets for the community center

one of the sets for the community center

one side of the building

one side of the building

another side of the building

another side of the building

another side of the building

another side of the building

one of the benches

one of the benches