Jonathan started with Today’s Family as a 4-year-old camper himself before moving on to being a youth leader in our Leaders-in-Training program. Currently, he is a growing leader within our day camp program.
Much of Jonathan’s employment with Today’s Family has been part of our Canada Summer Jobs funded positions, paid-employment opportunities supported by the Federal government intended to engage young people in the workforce.
His caring leadership, enthusiastic personality, and thoughtful approach greatly impact the experience of the many children and families we serve each summer. He shows up, ready to make memories. He wants what’s best for children.
We asked Jonathan if he would be interested in meeting with us to tell his story. Here is what he said about his camp experience and goals for the future.
TODAY’S FAMILY: How long have you been involved with Today’s Family?
JONATHAN: I’ve been involved with the organization since I was 4 years old. About 17 years. I started as a camper in the Adventure Camp that used to run at Delta United Church. I feel like that was decades ago. History now.
TODAY’S FAMILY: Are you interested in education or childcare at all as a career?
JONATHAN: I am currently studying 4th year Music Education at Western University. I am hoping to obtain my B.Ed after my undergrad degree and become a music teacher!
TODAY’S FAMILY: Has your involvement with Today’s Family helped prepare you for being a music teacher?
JONATHAN: I’ve learned LOTS. I’ve learned how to work with children, organize and lead groups, solve problems quickly – all while being creative and fun. Today’s Family has prepared me for what’s to come in my life. I sometimes bring in my guitar to teach campers how to play a few chords, lead karaoke, and facilitate other music games to get a feel for what it might be like as a music teacher. I love it.
TODAY’S FAMILY: Is there anything unique to you about experiencing camp as a camper, and now as a counsellor?
JONATHAN: When I became a camp counsellor there was a big shift in responsibilities. I still remember camp counsellors who impacted me in a big way back when I was a camper, ultimately shaping the person and leader that I am today. Back then I aspired to be like them. Now, look! It’s like experiencing a “saga of Today’s Family”. My hope is that some of my campers want to be like me when they are older. That’s why I’m here.
TODAY’S FAMILY: What do you like about having a leadership role within the camp program?
JONATHAN: I’m a Parks Coordinator this summer. It’s a pretty big responsibility, and I like it a lot. In this role I get to help our camp team facilitate summer activities to children in neighbourhood parks. I like to mentor others, build respect, and support the camp program.
TODAY’S FAMILY: Is there any camp summer tradition that really stands out to you as being your favourite?
JONATHAN: Oh man, the Classic Kickball Tournament for sure. Every summer we train and practice our kickball skills to play with and challenge other camps in the community. It’s a big event. We have a BBQ and lead other games and activities – it’s a good time. The kids love it. I look forward to that.
A note from one of Jonathan’s mentors, Kristina:
I first had the pleasure of meeting Jonathan as a very energetic and enthusiastic four-year-old. On day one, Jonathan had burst into camp with a wide-eyed excitement for the adventures to come. Jonathan’s creative approach to everything he puts his mind to was always evident from a young age. He was the first camper to notice the piano on the stage at camp and it quickly became his go-to. During his involvement in our youth leadership program, Jonathan played a large role in helping build community within the program. Jonathan continues to play a significant role within our organizations, being a role model, leader, inspiration, and friend to many.
We can’t wait to see what Jonathan does next. He has many little fans cheering in his corner!