When most people hear the words “summer camp,” they imagine campers swimming, making crafts, playing sports, etc. However, after spending my summer as a staffer at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum; I know the potential that summer camps have to be much more.
Having spent many days at this camp in years past, I felt fairly confident that my expectations for the summer were spot on. I knew I would be tasked with planning and executing activities, facilitating games, and assuring campers’ safety. However, my biggest job for the summer, and most impactful, was one I hadn’t quite planned.
Upon arriving to camp, my fellow staffers and I decided that we wanted to bring back an event that had been held at camp in the past, the “Hunger Banquet.” This would be a poverty simulation that would be held during a dinner at camp. Campers would be randomly placed into the low, middle, or high class and would be served a meal representing what that class eats for dinner in America. After some planning, I decided to take it upon myself to write a curriculum to make this event more than just a dinner. With help from the Ohio FFA state officers that attended camp, our “Hunger Banquet” became an entire presentation on poverty and hunger in America. As someone passionate about these issues, it was truly impactful to watch students have their minds and hearts opened to the issues happening around them. This summer, summer camp became more than just “fun in the sun” for the campers and myself. It became an opportunity to explore how we can benefit the world around us.