Wave Hello to Our Virtual Camp Counselors
The air is warm, birds are chirping, and the sun is shining high in the Sidleterra sky. Summer is almost here. This season, The Story School is offering two types of camps: a virtual day camp or our regular residential (in-person, overnight) camps. Now you can spend your summer with us no matter where you are. Magic is always just a Zoom away.
Our virtual camp sessions will each be one week long. You can sign up for as many weeks as you like, fitting just the right amount of adventure into your summer season. But, before camp begins, let’s take the time to wave hello to our newest Virtual Camp Counselors!
Sarah Jiottis is a traveler on two skis, teaching skiing in Colorado in the winter, then in South America during their winter. She mentioned to us that she is “learning Spanish, but not fluent yet. My husband is from Argentina and that’s how I have found myself there so often. I like learning about his diverse culture.”
While this is her first time being a camp counselor, working in a virtual setting, or being theatrical, Sarah boasts a Master’s in Organizational Leadership along with ten years of experience coaching kids on skis, mostly ages three to six. “Kids are kids; they’re always fun!”
Sarah’s wisdom helps in “calming them down and getting them ready to take in information.” If kids have separation anxiety, she helps them with breathing techniques she learned from yoga. She gravitates “toward introverts, or the sad kid, to cheer them up because I was that kid and I’d want to be cheered up.” To engage kids virtually, her goal is to “show compassion, and listen to them.” “I try to build a connection with children and find common ground to build trust.”
Haley Wilson is a full-time student majoring in Marketing, all while acting as the manager of a pet store. She says the best word to describe her is: “quick.” The store has the usual pets, but every once in a while people will rescue rare and exotic animals and arrive at the store in search of the appropriate foods.
Haley has five years of experience as a camp counselor at a Christian vacation camp. She fondly remembers her favorite camp songs and arts & crafts. When at camp, she enjoys making activities interactive, engaging, and fun. “I like getting a laugh out of kids...bringing out their playful side."
As a hobby, Haley does embroidery: “I really enjoy recreating maps from fictional universes. I’m currently working on (a classic fantasy) map” Fantasy and fiction inspired her goal of attending a Renaissance Faire and helped develop her love of costumes: “I’ve dressed up as elves, fairies, pirates, you name it!”
Isaac Richman is a junior in college, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Gender Studies and Politics.
Isaac was a virtual counselor with us last year after hearing about our camps through friends that had previously worked for The Story School. Isaac has been “doing martial arts for fifteen years, and seven of those as an instructor,” so he’s used to teaching kids in a more physical setting and enjoys working with active kids every day. “I teach the kids everything that I know. I try and remember what it was like when I was a kid and treat kids like I would have liked to be treated.” It’s important to respect their wants, he said. “Interact with them and find out what they find interesting,” even if it’s not what is planned.
In addition to karate, Isaac loves Dungeons & Dragons and is currently running two games. He also wants to “get into gemstone making,” and is especially interested in making rubies. Please don't tell the goblins.
Alex Vieira is graduating from college this spring, with a major in English, a minor in Psychology, and an initial license for teaching. She’s doing her student teaching in English at the high school level right now.
Alex was a virtual counselor with us last year and a Quest counselor before that. She has experience with kids of all ages, in person and online. In a virtual environment, she focuses on “how to reach them, read cues” to see whether kids are okay. She likes being dramatic, is a creative writer, and “can dive into any fictional world.”
Her goal is to “make kids feel like they’ve accomplished something.” To get there, she builds relationships, provides an environment where it’s okay to make mistakes, and listens to their needs which vary by individual, group, or even just the day. While it’s easy to get kids to talk with her, she also strives to get them to talk with each other. Since she loves to watch animé, her online students “are excited that I recognize their avatars.”
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS SUMMER
Each week of virtual camp will be unique, with a story that has an original beginning and end. Some characters may reappear but the plot will always be different. That means that you won't miss out by registering to participate in a session, skip a few weeks, then do another.