“I was just looking for a job,” Parker Broadfoot said. “My mom, who has worked with Rainbows for years as an Infant/Toddler Early Childhood Special Education teacher suggested Camp Woodchuck. Once I started, I knew this is what I wanted to do.”
He’s been working at Rainbows since 2011. Parker’s role at Rainbows includes Community Outreach and Lead Teacher in a Camp Woodchuck classroom. Parker’s biggest achievement is being selected as a Lead Teacher for camp, he finds joy in the little achievements he sees every day.
“Things like eating all their food, hearing them talk when they are mostly nonverbal, and seeing them reach a goal that at first seemed out of reach,” Parker said. “I love working with these kids.”
Seeing the children make these strides has also made Parker more appreciative of the little things in his own life, like being able to walk, talk, and eat. “I would have taken these things for granted in the past,” Parker said.
Between his position on the Hesston High School football coaching staff and serving at Rainbows, Parker stays busy. In the fall, Parker coaches football. During the school year he provides in home care for a child after school, whom he has served for three years. Over the summer, Parker works full time at Camp Woodchuck.
Why does he do it? The kids. Parker sees the kids as his friends, he looks forward to his time at Rainbows to spend time them.
“There are kids you don’t see until camp, then when camp starts is like one big reunion,” Parker said. “Over the years I have formed friendships with the kids which will continue past Camp and Rainbows.”
Parker’s favorite memory was his first day working at Camp Woodchuck. He arrived early and waited in anticipation for the children. “My buddy came strolling in, he introduced himself and had me sit down in from of the couch while he pretended to cut my hair. He gestured and acted like he was a barber at a barbershop, creating small talk and exchanging gossip,” Parker said. “That was the moment I realized how natural it felt to work with kids.”