I’m McKenzie, and I am absolutely thrilled to be serving
as an intern at Clear Lake during this spring and summer season. Let me share a bit about myself: Born a Yooper, I graduated from a small school in Kentucky with a degree in Adventure, Education, and Leadership in the winter of 2021. I'm blessed to have the most amazing husband who supports my wildest dreams, like moving all the way up here from Georgia to restore a 100-year-old house, even though we have no prior experience. Oh, and we have a ball of energy named Fynn, our Great Pyrenees pup! Together, one house project at a time, we're creating a beautiful home in the UP and enjoying every moment. We're incredibly grateful for the opportunity to apply my education here at camp!
Over the past couple of months, I've had the privilege of leading an aquatics program for school groups, primarily working with 5th graders. It has been so rewarding to witness those magical "lightbulb" moments when students grasp a new concept or get excited about something fascinating. One of my biggest passions in the aquatics program was teaching students about bioindicators and how they can help us determine water quality. It was an absolute blast hunting for them with dip nets along the bank of Clear Lake!
Working alongside my fellow interns, Ali and Lauren, has been an absolute joy.
Mimi and Pam did an outstanding job selecting interns for this season, as we all bring unique skills and interests to the table. Ali's energy while working with the overnight camps and day groups was inspiring. She has a way of engaging students that combines fun and learning flawlessly, proving that the two could go hand in hand. I'll never forget the contagious laughter and smiling faces of the students gathered around the campfire, singing along to her treasure trove of campfire songs.
Before this summer, I had mostly worked with middle schoolers and older students, so I have been a bit unsure about effectively communicating with younger ones. However, watching Lauren interact with the little ones has been great. She is an exceptional role model, and I've learned so much from her. Though I am still honing my skills, I feel more confident thanks to her.
Overall, my time at Clear Lake has been incredibly fulfilling. From engaging with the kids and helping with camp maintenance tasks to preparing for upcoming groups and programming around the UP, every moment has been a delight.
I look forward to the remainder of the summer,
as long as the mosquitoes don't carry me away before then!