The summer before I turned 16, I had a job as a camp counselor at a YMCA arts camp called Summer Adventure. Though it was over 40 years ago, I have many clear memories from that summer, including the camp song, believe it or not. Several specialists were the main teachers, sharing their expertise in theater, pottery, dance, and other arts. My job was to shepherd a group of children from class to class, planning games and craft activities for their free time.

I had a lot of responsibility for one so young, I can see that clearly now. And I loved it! I remember making felt finger puppets with five year-olds, making little animals from leftover bits of clay with a group of eight year-old girls, working hard for the money I earned. It wasn’t always easy and I am sure I learned far more that summer than did the children I minded.It’s funny how childhood experiences can seem accidental at the time; it’s only later looking back that I can see the foundation being laid for my work with children at Heartfelt.