Reflections From an Arcadia Institute Intern

My name is Grant Nemeth and I am a senior at Western Michigan University majoring in Physical Education. This summer I have been interning for The Arcadia Institute. I work with summer camps and programs on the “Community Participation Initiative,” helping to support campers with many different disabilities. As a future Physical Education Instructor, it will be my job to include ALL students in Physical Education class. Physical Education teaches students how to be fit and active throughout their life by exposing them to a wide variety of different activities and sports. Working with different camps this summer I have definitely been exposed to a wide variety of activities and sports such as: Rock climbing, kayaking, going to the beach in South Haven, playing capture the pig, playing gaga ball, horseback riding, shooting pool, step dance classes, singing camp songs, building camp fires, hiking, team building activities and several others. Not only did the campers I worked with participate in these activities but they were very successful in doing them. Many of the activities were new to me such as gaga ball, team building activities, step dance classes and playing capture the pig, which I will try to incorporate in my future P.E. class units. Just like my P.E. classes where I will make sure all students successfully participate, camps are another place where everyone should be participating and having successful camp experiences.

Some of the things that I learned this summer are:

  • All kids have strengths and weaknesses.
  • Kids that are labeled are not always the ones who need additional support.
  • Kids are a lot more accepting of people with differences than adults sometimes are.
  • Every child deserves to be exposed to a variety of different activities and positive experiences.
  • Parents worry that their children will not be as successful as they end up being at camp.
  • Every camp counselor that I worked with was amazing and there was not one situation that I questioned how they handled it.