Viktorija Tamošiūnaitė, a Sophomore majoring in Contemporary Communication, and Aurelija Urbonaitė, a Sophomore majoring in International Business Administration at LCC International University, have been attending Kids and Teens camp for a few summers in a row now. What initially has been a volunteering opportunity during high school years for Viktorija and Aurelija, has served as a gateway for them to become LCC students.
How did you find out about Teens and Kids summer camps?
Viktorija: I started volunteering in the camps even before I enrolled in LCC, so the camps were the place where I first encountered the LCC community. I was 17 at that time and it was my first job, and obviously I was scared. However, during the camps I met some of my best friends who now also study at LCC. I found out about the camps from my mom, who knew the previous camp director, Šarūnė Tilvikaitė. Coming back as a volunteer each summer is more of a tradition for me now, rather than a job, and I am truly passionate about it.
Aurelija: I also found out about the camps through my mom and through Šarūnė. I started volunteering in the camps four years ago and it was my first job too. Before that I didn't really know LCC, so by volunteering here I really fell in love with the place and I decided to study at LCC.
Even though you have been with the camps for a couple of summers in a row, what makes you come back again and again?
Viktorija: This is something that is not materialistic, and it fulfills you because you are doing something meaningful. As a team leader or volunteer you actually help children improve their English skills. I love children and our teams, especially the volunteers. We form a bond that is almost like a family, so you get to work and have fun at the same time.
Do you hold a volunteering position in this camp, or are you involved in something else besides camp?
Aurelija: This year I am also camps coordinator and it involves planning various activities and making sure everything works well. Before June, we had a whole month to meet the teammates, train everyone, and to get everything ready for the kids and teens.
Viktorija: For me it is a bit difficult since I also work at DeFehr reception as well as helping with other things around the camps. I do not see myself as a volunteer only, it is almost like a job to me, with all of the responsibilities.
Some of the volunteers in the camp, are also high school students. What are some of the benefits they can get out of being at LCC and helping out with the camps?
Viktorija: In the beginning, you get a volunteer agreement contract, which you can also include in your CV. From some of the obvious skills, you definitely improve English language skills, since you have to speak English every day for the whole month with everyone around you. Another benefit is that you get to experience LCC and its community. You also meet people from around the world, since every summer we get volunteers from different countries.
What are some of the ways that children and teens learn English outside of their lessons?
Aurelija: We have posters in our camps with useful phrases that everyone needs to learn and remember, so this helps tremendously. Children learn fast and some of them start speaking by the end of the first week in the camp, and they are learning not to be afraid to speak. Also, for the parents, when they come back to pick up their children, they try to communicate in English with us, so everyone is learning.