Dessert Fest 2012: Outbound Camp Counselors!
Seventy students from The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University will embark on an amazing journey this summer to support the families of our armed forces by being a part of UT’s Camp Adventure. Camp Adventure is a volunteer organization, housed within UT’s Center for International Studies and Programs (CISP), that serves the armed forces by providing educational, caring, supportive programming to children and families on US military bases. Until this year, UT has been the largest training site in the US. Our students become Camp Counselors and lead, learn and grow with children and youth during Summer, Day, and Teen Camp programs around the world. This year our students will be going to Japan, Korea, Italy, Germany, Hawaii and other destinations, to implement summer camp programs and in-turn have a life-changing experience.
Throughout spring semester the students of Camp Adventure have been diligently training for their positions. These students have given their time, creativity and dedication to see the implementation and organization of Camp Adventure become one of the best training years ever.
On April 14th I had the pleasure of partaking in the 10th annual Dessert Fest. Camp Adventure’s Dessert Fest is an end of the year banquet like no other! In addition to celebrating trainee graduation for the program, Dessert Fest is a time for the Camp Adventure family to come together and taste dozens of desserts ranging from homemade cookies, muffins, breads, cakes, pastry puffs, to brownies all enjoyed with coffee and punch. In short, the evening is filled with food, friends, and family.
This year’s Finding Nemo theme thrilled guests and had the packed audience laughing and chanting along with the student performers. The Keynote speaker was Mr. Brett Herr, a former Camp Adventure veteran. Mr. Herr gave inspiration to parents and campers alike by sharing the immense transformation that Camp had on his personal life. His timid, uninvolved demeanor was transformed through joining Camp. He also reiterated the importance of the program, how it has influenced his leadership abilities and has made him a more understanding teacher. He feels he is better equipped to handle behavioral situations and guide youth who may have difficult home lives. He ended his presentation with notes to parents and counselors, “Take pride in this program because it will allow your students to become leaders that they never imagined they would become” and “Every moment in camp will change you for the better. Have an unforgettable summer!” Camp veteran Marissa Reid was also honored with the Celia Lou Findlay Inspiration Award for continued support of Camp Adventure. Marissa enhanced this year’s training by presenting to future counselors and by allowing our students to increase their childcare hours at her place of employment, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Toledo.
The Dessert Fest banquet was accompanied by songs and skits performed by the Camp Adventure students, a picture slideshow and commenced with veteran member awards. Learn more about Camp Adventure at UT from CISP’s website HERE. Peace. Love. Happiness!