Dizon The Perfect 'Role Model" For Kids At Camp Patriot
It’s summer at Stevenson, and that means Summer School for some current students…and summer camp for dozens of future Patriots.
Camp Patriot, featuring all kinds of fun games and activities, operates on campus each weekday for six weeks for kids from kindergarten through eighth grade.
Rising junior Jolien Dizon (pictured right with her campers) is one of Stevenson’s current students who helps run Camp Patriot. She’s what Camp Patriot calls a “role model,” or essentially a camp counselor.
Dizon never had a summer job before, and Camp Patriot was just what she was looking for.
“I knew I wanted to do something this summer and I’m pretty social, so I knew I wanted it to be fun,” Dizon said. “I heard about Camp Patriot through the ‘Daily Digest,’ and I thought that would be a great opportunity to be close to home, to be social with other counselors and I thought it would be fun to work with kids.”
There are 175 campers at Camp Patriot, and Dizon works with the youngest. Her group, the Rebels, is kindergarten and first grade girls.
Last week, Dizon and the other role models guided the Rebels through a special day of activities in which the theme was dinosaurs.
Some kids came to camp wearing dinosaur-themed clothes, including head-to-toe pajamas. The kids also made colorful dinosaur visors (pictured left) at camp to wear throughout the day.
“It’s really fun so far and the kids are really cute,” Dizon said. “I expected the young kids to be really shy but most of them open up when they get here and that’s fun.
“There are some who have a hard time with that and I just try to talk with them one-on-one about things that they like and that seems to help and eventually they are participating with the other kids and that’s always really good to see.”
Like all the other Camp Patriot role models, Dizon had to go through an interview and weeklong training session with program manager Isaac Brubaker, who started the camp six years ago and has been leading the way since.
During that first summer, Brubaker and one other supervisor ran the camp. Now, nearly 60 supervisors and role models are on hand to guide campers and run activities.
“Everything this year is going super smoothly and the kids are having an absolute blast,” Brubaker said. “Our role models like Jolien are doing a great job. Jolien is so positive, so happy and she’s always smiling, too. She is always attentive to her kids. She makes sure that they’re having fun. She makes sure that they’re cared for and she’s always planning fun, creative activities.”
During Dinosaur Day, the role models led the kids in a game of “Rock-Paper-Scissors” with a dinosaur twist, and a game in which the kids had to make dinosaur noises.
Each day at camp, the campers also make crafts, sing songs, swim, eat lunch and participate in specialty activities such as cooking and archery.
“Our goal is to introduce the campers to Stevenson and all that we have to offer here in a fun and recreational way so that when they come here as freshmen, it’s not so intimidating and scary,” Brubaker said. “They will remember that this is where they went on the slip-and-slide and played Ga-Ga and nothing about it was scary.”
What is almost scary to Brubaker is how Camp Patriot has been around long enough for him to now see former campers in a different role at Stevenson.
“Now I’m starting to see campers walk through the hallways as students at Stevenson and that’s really fun,” said Brubaker, who estimates that more than 900 campers have participated in Camp Patriot over the last six years. “We actually have someone who is working here this year for us who is a former camper.
“I also see the name of one of our former campers in the ‘Daily Digest’ all the time because she is a star volleyball player here at Stevenson. It’s pretty exciting to see all of them go from being little campers to walking the hallways here.”
Dizon is excited to see her campers walking around campus again next year. She’s already making plans to return to Camp Patriot as a role model.
“I hope I can see all these kids again next year,” Dizon said. “I really hope they remember me!”