Becoming at Teacher
My interest in working with children began during college when I spent each summer as a camp counselor at Eagle’s Nest. At the time, I was struggling with my confidence in my academics, a dyslexic English major, reading ten times more slowly than the average reader. Working with children at the Nest, slowly teaching them the steps to feel safe, supported, and proud of themselves in a new place helped me teach myself how to live through the same process in my own life. As I created challenges for my campers, I began to think of my work as a counselor as more than simply facilitating fun experiences for kids. I learned that summer camp often shapes the morals and dreams that children hold throughout the year. I took the task of helping kids shape their aspirations seriously.
Evelina backpacking with Outdoor Academy students
I believe that the most valuable gift that Eagle’s Nest has given me is an insatiable love of wonder. Being a part of a child’s discovery is a powerful thing and opportunities to do so are abundant at the Nest. At camp, children from big cities experience fireflies and the darkness. . . others get their first chance to sleep beneath the stars. After being a counselor, I went on to teach literacy in Washington, DC and in Boston, to lead wilderness therapy experiences in Utah and North Carolina, and to advocate for under-resourced youth in the Asheville City School District. Throughout these experiences, the wonder that I experienced as a counselor at Eagle’s Nest has been a central source of motivation for me. As the North Carolina Poet laureate, Fred Chapell writes, “You are a child. You are suitable to be awed.” This assertion is the assumption at the Nest.
I am currently applying to graduate programs in Art Education and plan to be a teacher. Eagle’s Nest is rich with mentors and friends who have supported and guided me to find my passions. Throughout my experiences working in education, I have yet to find a more nurturing environment for a prospective educator.