By Aaron Smith, EMC Summer Counselor
This summer the EMC welcomes Aaron Smith to the team as a summer counselor! Returning to Philadelphia after 3 years working as a counselor for City Camp, Aaron is excited to connect his experience working with the children who attend City Camp to his new role with the EMC this summer. Here's what Aaron has to say about his missional journey to Philly.
I came to Philadelphia three years ago to work as a counselor at city camp. I didn’t know what to expect but each day was an adventure; I was privileged to help instill a respect for diversity in children 4—13, some of whom had never been out of their neighborhoods.
I learned as much from these youngsters as they learned from me. One of my nine year old campers at St. James rode the bus alone from one side of the city to another just to get the experience city camp offered. What dedication at nine, I could not ride my bike four blocks at that age.
In 2014 I had an eleven year old camper who had anger issues and was very antisocial. When he would get mad, we would play sports so he could let off some steam. I would talk to him and spend one on one time with him. When I left camp, he still had two weeks there. I felt my job was not done with him.
This year, I have a different job. I will be managing older youth from all over the country, who come in for a week at a time to help out all over the diocese, and see the history of Philadelphia. Hopefully, I can introduce them to my kids from city camp. If I can, I will still be a part in the mission of city camp and the mission center.
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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
Thank you for your radical hospitality!
Gwynedd Mercy University
Thank you for your hospitality in hosting students from Gwynedd Mercy and Alvernia University during their Alternative Break with the Interfaith Center. The facility was wonderful. We held several of our workshops there in your comfortable space. What an ideal setting! The students especially appreciated participating in your mass as getting a personal orientation from Rev Morris and such a warm welcome from your parishioners.
With much appreciation for all you do,
“Right now, my group is rating our experience as the best mission they've ever been a part of. The orientation and subsequent building of relationships with kids in the community broke down their racial and urban stereotypes. Most importantly, every one of them experienced a deepening of their faith in God, and tangible understanding of how that faith works itself out in mission and issues of social justice. We will definitely be coming back!”
— Rev. Jane Cornman, St. Mary’s Church, Wayne, PA