Career Connections


Cassidy Bringle

Major: Event Management



Year: Junior
Hometown/State: Iowa City, IA

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: YMCA Camp Wapsie
Company/Organization website: http://www.crmetroymca.org/en/camp_wapsie/
Title: Assistant Program Director
Destination: Coggon, IA
Timeframe: May 31st, 2017- August 11th, 2017

Advisor/Coordinator Email: rmcclain@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
Assist in organizing and leading instructional and organizational sessions during pre-camp week. Assist in programming activities for the campers from Sunday evening to Saturday morning in accordance with the philosophies of Camp Wapsie Help supervise the counseling and program staff to assure that they are following Camp Wapsie philosophies and rules and doing their work as assigned. Be in attendance at the weekly 1:00 PM Sunday staff meeting and assure that the staff has a schedule for the week and know and understand all of their assignments for the week’s activities. Distribute materials, awards and postcards that the staff will need for the week, at staff meeting. Monitors the safety of the campers in their activities and keeps a close watch on any severe weather situations. Is always available and willing to help and answer any questions. Lead some all camp games and activities throughout the week. Must assure that supplies and staff are ready for the activities. Assist the Program Director in implementing alternative programming in case of any interruption in regular programming. Collects all extra cabin photos, release forms, camper and staff evaluations at the end of each week. Maintains organized files of all of the above forms. Works to resolve staff conflicts and keep an open line of communication with the Camp Director. Coordinate scheduling and activities for nature night and chapel. Provide leadership and mentoring for the Junior Counselors Set up regular check in meetings with them. Review weekly and mid-summer evals with them. Coordinate Cabin Mate scheduling and rosters Help Supervise and develop junior staff. Help fill in for cabin coverage as needed. To create and maintain a harmonious, positive working relationship with fellow staff, YMCA Camp Wapsie campers and participants.

I accomplished...
One of my accomplishments as the assistant program director has been nature night, and below is the description and accomplishment details. I would also say that an overall accomplishment was staff moral. One of my strengths is being positive and helping the staff with their problems. Also just overall getting things finished in a more timely manner than in previous years with this position. Cabin placements is a good example for that, something that is usually done a day or two before the next camping session starts, is now finished almost a week beforehand.

My most valuable effort...
Nature night was one of the most valuable projects that I have worked on for this position. It is a weekly program for children at camp to experience and learn more about the out doors and learn practical skills. I believe that I have improved this program greatly in two areas. One is logistics, and another is staff moral. I created a more effective plan for the activity rotations, making transitions more smooth, and the length more effective for counselors to have enough time for teaching. In the past nature night has had a negative connotation associated with it. This caused counselors to loose interest, or even be negative about the activity. This directly effected campers experiences. I held a meeting to find solutions so that counselors were also engaged in what they were doing, to help kids learn with their positive attitude.

I learned...
I would say that I have come across the same experience multiple times that I have learned from. That would be making decisions and acting quickly. When other staff come to me with a question that needs answering right away, I don't always have time to think. Making a good informed answer is something that I have greatly improved upon throughout my experiences here.

I will never forget...
I think that memorable experiences that have come from this job, is when you put a lot of work, time and effort into something and it pays off. The feeling when it is over and you know that the job has been well done is a great feeling. That is when I know I have done my job well and I have also benefited the counselors and camp. Working with counselors has also been a memorable experience; teaching and helping them grow has also taught me so much and helped me grow as a person as well.

A surprising discovery...
I am a member of what is called the program staff at camp. We are all directors of a certain program in which we lead groups of people. This summer a few positions that had been filled by people, suddenly became empty because people had left the position unexpectedly. This was something that I did not think would happen considering we hire them just for a few months. Myself mostly, but others included were very much effected by these changes. I had to take on a lot of responsibilities that were not in my job description, but learned a lot and was willing to help out with.

Advice for others...
Advice that I would have for anyone following in my footsteps would be have an open mind about growing as a person throughout a job experience. There are going to be skills you think you possess, but there is always room for people to grow and expand their knowledge. I know that I thought I was confident speaking in front of large groups of people, but I believe that I have gotten a lot better at that. Also, being positive and patient will take you very far when working with different types of people.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I was a counselor for three years prior to being the assistant program director, so I was very familiar with camp, and knew what my position was to some extent. During my interview, I got to know more about what the position would be like, and how my skills fit into the job description itself.

I landed this assignment by...
I had all the qualifications for the job. I also showed a lot of leadership the three years prior to being the assistant program director, and that showed the director that I was more competent person for the job.

I wanted this experience because...
The job description was something that alined very well with my skill sets, and things that I would enjoy doing. I also had worked here before, and wanted more of a challenge, and was ready for the next step moving up at camp. There was a lot more that I could learn and I felt given the chance, it would be a really great opportunity for me personally.

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