For the past 9 weeks I have been participating in a summer camp program for inner city kids, ages 7-13 (see link below). These kids are generally there because their parents are working multiple jobs and cannot afford to hire a sitter, and well, leaving them at home is
not really an option.
At first it sounded like a good idea to participate and get involved. I would speak to them about what I do, talk to them about personal hygiene, answer questions, etc. Then came the reality of coming up with topics that were interesting to them and interactive. Once that was checked I had the task of putting together presentation for Tuesdays at 1:30pm for the next 10 weeks!
I am an orthodontist in Columbus, Ohio www.OrtodonciaMendieta.com and it became a task to leave in the middle of the day, skip lunch, drive over to the camp, give the presentation, and head back to work. Don’t get me wrong it was fun to engage the campers in a topic they probably never thought about, dentistry and orthodontics. But along the way I wondered if I was being effective. Some weeks were better than others. But I was glad I did it every time I left the camp.
This week was our final lesson and some of the members said a few words about their experiences to the kids. The campers were very receptive and you could tell, for me and for everyone else, it was so rewarding to engage these young kids. Although it was a challenge to find the time and sometime the energy to prepare, present and make a special trip to the camp, it was worth it! Take a look at the camp link below!
-Dr. Edgar Mendieta