This summer, I was fortunate enough to work with multiple groups of VOKs, in K7 as a counselor and in K8 on the support side of the program. The VOK (Volunteers of Kintail) program is designed for students that are in or on their way to high school, and gives them the unique opportunity to experience camp as senior campers, while also working as volunteers. VOK groups do the dishes after every meal, and traditionally spend their morning doing a maintenance project around site while the afternoon and evening (after more dishes) are spent enjoying the camp lifestyle. In K7 we spent the week digging in the Glen and installing new drainage tiles. K8 was spent cleaning the outsides of cabins and clearing dead brush from the cedar forest. At the end of each week, the volunteers receive 30 community service hours which they can put towards their high school graduation.
Some of my favorite memories from these groups of VOKs this summer are our beach bonfires, extravagant hikes in the Glen and onsite trips. My most favorite memory though, is the love for camp that VOKs can develop in the week that they are here. The VOK program was what first made me love camp when I was Yeti and Lua’s camper in 2011, a group that also included Oleander, Okra, and Ibex. Both last year and this year I saw many VOKs in groups I was a part of talking excitedly about next year, trying to co-ordinate their future Leader In Training months with each other, and speculating on what their nature names will be. It is amazing to see the skills and potential that many VOKs have, and I love speculating to other staff about how great these fine VOKs will be once they reach the age where they can apply for staff. See you all next summer,
Colin “Arctic” Aerts