Elisabeth describes her internship with the Navy at Annapolis, MD during the Summer of 2016.
I attended Ball State University in Indiana where I majored in Child Development.
This internship gave me the opportunity to work alongside the Training and Curriculum Specialists, the Assistant Director, and the Youth Center Director to implement changes to the current programming, orientation process, and learn the day to day responsibilities of those positions of management within Navy Child and Youth Programs.
My internship site gave me free range of what I wanted to do with my time at Annapolis. Some projects I completed were revamping the orientation process for new hires, assisting in a monthly training on Environments and Room Arrangements, and going through the process of initiating, completing, and implementing a KIT call for our inclusion of special needs on a camper at the Youth Center.
I completed many projects during my time in Annapolis, but the big three projects I completed were Orientation, Developing a Training, and Implementing support for a camper with special needs.
Throughout the summer, I worked alongside the Training and Curriculum Specialists to revamp the orientation process. I created new binders, forms, and set up a schedule for what should be completed for each day of training. This is still in the process of being changed and we are awaiting approval from the CYP Director before it is fully implemented.
July’s Monthly Training was over Environments and Room Arrangement. I was charged with developing what they would discuss at this training. After much research and discussion, we started the meeting with a video discussing the Environment as the Third Teacher within the classroom. Each room was given a list from Teaching Strategies of items that should be in the classroom from each age group. After discussing their thoughts on implementing the Environments as the Third Teacher, we gave them time to go back to their classrooms to rearrange furniture, toys, and make any changes they want to since they do not get much time during the day to do that.
One of our summer campers had special needs and the staff did not have experience working with a child with these particular special needs. As we continued to interact with her, we began to notice she had delays as well. We initiated a KIT call where we reached out to Inclusion Specialists where we developed a plan of action to best support her during her time at camp. I developed special materials for her, the counselors, the leads, and the children to use to help communicate with her.
My favorite memory of my internship was getting to be part of Sailing Camp. This is the specialty camp hosted in Annapolis where military children from around the world are brought to Annapolis for 10 days. We take them to Sailing School where they receive their sailing license. We also take them around Annapolis and DC for sightseeing and activities. It was so much fun bringing in 22 total strangers and watching the friendships form quickly. The camp got me out of my comfort zone by taking care of 22 teenagers for 10 days. We saw DC, went to Six Flags and the Naval Academy, and downtown Annapolis every night for dinner, ice cream, and shopping. The bonds the youth made will last them for years to come by getting to come to Annapolis with other military children who truly understand what they are each going through. I learned so much from them just by having conversations, asking them questions, and listening to what they had to say.
This summer was a summer where I pushed my boundaries and learned about what I am capable of doing. This is the first time I have been far away from home. My university was only about an hour and half away. Annapolis was 10 hours away from home! I learned how to acclimate to a new city, new culture, and new job. I learned how to speak my opinion in a constructive way to help the program. I gained experiences that I will never forget and made connections with professionals that I will continue to utilize to grow as a professional.
More information about the Military Extension Internship Program can be found on online at: https://ag.purdue.edu/extension/militaryinternships.