Learning How to Use My WINGS

Working at WINGS, I’ve picked up and developed quite a few skills. This has been my first internship and one of my first jobs working somewhere where I was not previously affiliated with anyone. So, other than the technical aspects of domestic violence, one of the major things that I have learned has been about life in a workplace.

Here’s a selfie from one of my first days at camp. Check out my fancy name badge!

Initially, I was very apprehensive about meeting coworkers and interacting with them.  Throughout the summer I have gained invaluable workplace skills and experience collaborating with coworkers. Additionally, within this internship I have been able to take on a leadership role as the head of the camp. Thus, I gained a lot of experience supervising other volunteers and staff as well as in planning and logistics. All of these skills are ones that I believe I can take with me as I continue on in the future, regardless of what my future job is. By nature, I’m not very outspoken, and I feel that during my time at WINGS I’ve made large steps towards being my assertive in my role.

For this self-care activity, we wrote things that we enjoy on slips of paper to randomly select when we are having a difficult day. Some of my activities include: playing frisbee, watching my favorite Netflix shows, and baking.

As mentioned before, during my training I learned a lot about not only domestic violence but also about elder abuse, suicide and suicide prevention, rural women, domestic violence perpetrators, rural women, and the legal system among other things. Though only 40-hours, I gained basic knowledge on all these topics which I can then take along with me in life. Self-care was greatly emphasized during the training and throughout my internship, and I know the self-care tips, tricks, games, and activities are ones that will be valuable throughout my life.

Running a summer camp is nothing like simply being a counselor. The number of campers ranges from 2-10 and the ages range from 3-16, meaning a variety of different activities and games are needed to cater to everyone’s individual needs. On top of this, it is necessary to remember that the children are victims of domestic violence and, thus, a trauma-specific approach must be applied during all situations. Therefore, all these factors must be accounted for when planning each day of camp. One of the ideas we try to implement each week is to have a weekly theme. Past themes include: sports, summer, art, holidays, and carnival. Bringing themes into the week ensures that there will be different games and crafts each week and gets the kids excited about something as they try to anticipate themes and tie in their own recommended activities each week. As a result, planning can sometimes be difficult, but it’s very worth it. My planning, management, and administrative skills have all be tested and improved throughout the internship, and I know that the skills I have gained are some that I will carry with me throughout my future career and life.

For additional information, facts, and statistics about domestic violence please click here.

Nakeita Henry, ’19