The following post was written by Maris Nyhart, a participant in the Global Justice Summer Internships. A student at Tufts University, Nyhart served as an intern at the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.
As my first summer living in Boston and my first summer living on my own, these last few months have certainly been a new adventure. I’ve learned a huge amount in an incredibly short period of time, and have enjoyed the opportunity to explore a city that’s totally new to me, and a far cry from the small town where I grew up. In my internship at the UU Urban Ministry, I’ve gotten not only to learn more about the communities of Boston, but also about outreach and the ways in which a successful nonprofit functions.
While I have been enjoying this new adventure, one of my favorite parts was a day that was surprisingly reminiscent of many summers from my childhood — ones that I was incredibly lucky to be able to spend at camp. A few weeks ago, Monique Veale, director of the Roxbury Youth Programs, took me on a short tour of the camps attended by Roxbury Youth Program participants. We got to watch the children take part in a whole range of camp activities — everything from soccer to pottery to rehearsing for the mini-musical the children performed on the last day.
I think that camps foster a very unique sense of camaraderie. Away from their parents and kids that they’ve gone to school with from a very young age, kids get the opportunity to make new friends as they go through new experiences together. I feel very fortunate to still be in contact with some of the friends I made at camp years ago, and even more fortunate to be able to watch these kids form those same relationships. The day was a nostalgic but welcome flashback.