It's officially summer here at Camp Promise and our team has grown by one. You might recognize her from her days as a Unit Leader, so join us in welcoming Jenna Dwy to our team as this summer's intern!
Hi everyone! I'm so excited to work at Jett Foundation for Camp Promise this summer. A little about me: At home, I work as a CNA in a retirement home (this will be my fifth year!), and when I’m not home, I go to UConn where I study Disability Studies and Human Rights. I am also involved in coordinating alternative breaks, Special Olympics, and an after school tutoring program for elementary and middle school students. I am super excited to work with the Jett Foundation this summer to apply my studies in the nonprofit field (the field I hope to enter into post grad) and learn new skills to take back to my clubs at UConn.
Q & A With Jenna:
When did you first join Camp Promise?
I joined Camp in 2015. I started as a counselor at Camp Promise-East and was also able to go to Camp Promise-Rockies last summer as a Unit Leader.
What will you be working on this summer?
This summer I will be working on a new staff training campaign and coordinating a new community program for all three camps. From planning to evaluation to reaching out to vendors, I’ll get to experience it all. And, the best part will be going to all three camps: I'll be a Unit Leader (#orangecabin) at Camp Promise-East and Camp Promise-Rockies, and will join the leadership team and work with ProLo at Camp Promise-West (just in time for it's 10 year anniversary)!
How will your experience as a counselor and Unit Leader impact your internship?
Being a counselor has given me a good deal of personal care experience and has taught me a lot about our campers' social and behavioral needs. Knowing this will help me when it comes to planning programs and adapting activities to make sure they're accessible to everyone. Plus, I remember what it was like to be a new counselor and then a new Unit Leader, so I think I also have a good grasp on the needs and wants of our staff which will no doubt inform the staff training project I'm working on. The flip side is that being at camp hasn't given me any hands-on nonprofit management experience, so that's something new I'm hoping to pick up from interning in the camp office.
What challenges do you think you’ll face this summer?
Leaving camp is always bittersweet — and I’ll have to do that three times! And, time management is very important for camp because there are so many logistics to juggle, so I’ll definitely be honing in on this skill more this summer.
What is your #1 tip for new counselors and campers this summer?
Don’t be afraid to try all the new opportunities camp has to offer and to just be yourself. Camp is a rare environment that has been cultivated to provide people with the comfort, support, and silliness to truly be themselves. Embrace it!
What's it like to go to multiple Camp Promise camps?
After going to Camp Promise-East for two years, I was amazed to find that exact same community of people and energy at Camp Promise-Rockies. Don't get me wrong, each Camp Promise has its own special flare with it's own traditions, a different staff of volunteers, and different activities. But, the overall Camp Promise culture is strong wherever you go, so it will always feel like home. I think this is because our community is so tight-knit and because Camp Promise attracts the kindest, most thoughtful, and supportive people you've ever met. While not every site has boating or ziplining, each site definitely has costumes, mailboxes, and a Rumor Box. And, no matter where you go, campers and staff will find a whole cheerleading squad behind them the entire time.
What are some things that are classically Jenna?
I like to challenge people to Odds Are which is basically a truth or dare game where the only option is dare. However, I lose pretty often and have to do my own dares most of the time. I also drive a 1993 Saturn, which coordinates well with my slow driving, grandmotherly like personality. I am also a big fan of the Ben’s Bells Project and its campaign for everyday kindness, so you’ll always see me wearing some of my Ben’s Bells trinkets.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
Jenny Long Arms: The Wingspan of Her Life. I have long arms and three pinkies. Ask me about them when you meet me!
--Post by Libby Brockman