Before I transferred to my current university where I started working in the pragmatic world of its fiscal office, I worked at day camp for children from 5 to 13. It was high-energy; a place where kids could participate in programming that encouraged them to pursue their artistic and educational interests. No invoice could ever replace the feeling I got from working with my kids in our media club, In the Loop.
My kids created programming in a variety of mediums. One year, they created a podcast called This Military Life about what it was like to be a military dependent. The following summer, my supervisor encouraged us to create a news program. Pictures of them interviewing their friends and parents and posters tracking their attendance covered the walls of our newsroom.
All I did was provide tips and materials. They had all the creativity. Every week, I’d put their newest newscast into the DVD player in the lobby where everyone stopped to watch. I gave copies of the DVDs, our print newspaper, and their Works in Progress folders to their parents.
My kids shared stories that mattered to themselves, their friends, and their families. These types of creative career-building activities provide children not just with new skills but also a greater sense of confidence. The skills my kids took away, from team building to computer-fluency, opened up the ability to learn new ones. They have inspired me to pursue my passions with the same kind of curiosity and enthusiasm.