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Forever in my heart

Camp Woodchuck

By Malarie Cook, Camp Woodchuck VISTA

Volunteering at Rainbows’ Camp Woodchuck has been the highlight of my summer. My name is Malarie Cook and I am the summer VISTA for Camp Woodchuck. I grew up in a small town called Harper and attended Cowley County Community College for my first two years before transferring to Wichita State University. I am now only a year away from getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work! I plan to work for a year then go back for my Masters.

I chose to work at Camp Woodchuck because I wanted to have some experience with children before getting into my field of study, and Camp seemed like a fun and challenging atmosphere. And boy was I right! My duties ranged from sidewalk chalk to exercise cube, to helping with snacks and lunch to decorating the stage for the Fashion Show. During the Fashion Show, it was amazing to see all the different personalities come out and to watch the kids break out of their shells. Having that experience was one of the best I could ever imagine and I would not trade it for anything in the world   

Most important to me was getting to interact with the campers and get to know the kids. The best way I got to know all the campers was to sit down and talk with them and make sure they felt heard. I spent time getting to know them while sharing in activities they like, for example playing a game, pushing them on a swing, the list could go on and on. Seeing the campers everyday puts a smile on my face. This experience will forever be in my heart and the campers hold a special place in my heart, too.