Featured Internship: Maddy Huinker

Maddie Huinker

Member of Chi Omega

Check out what Maddie has been up to this past summer!

This summer I interned with Camp Adventure, a collegiate program that works with military bases around the world to provide help in their childcare facilities. I worked with the Pearl Harbor Navy Base in Oahu, Hawai'i from May to August.

What were some of your job duties/responsibilities?

After going through a series of trainings in the Fall semester focusing on childcare, leadership skills, and lesson planning, I was placed in the Peltier Child Development Center with children ranging from 0 to 5 years old. I was responsible for their daily care, needs, and also creating enriching lesson plans and activities. Developing relationships with the children was also a crucial component as these children are raised in military families and face a lot of change and adversity at a young age.

Why did you do this internship?

I chose to do Camp Adventure because I wanted to spend the summer in a new place and although I didn't get to choose my placement, all the locations are culturally diverse and a great immersion experience. Additionally, I have loved working with children in Dance Marathon and Children's Cancer Connection summer camps and knew I would love working with children again!

What was the best moment from your internship? 

The best moment was walking into my classroom in the morning and having ten 1-2 year olds recognize me and walk/crawl as fast as they could to give me a big hug! It was so rewarding and special. Hiking the 7 hour Stairway to Heaven hike was also one of the best moments from our weekend adventures (photo above)!

What are some skills learned from this internship?

I learned so much about how to help infants and young children develop from different activities and experiences. I also learned a lot about working with diverse groups of people ranging from age and education gaps to language and cultural differences. Another key takeaway:  I became a pro at changing diapers!

What are some lessons learned that can be adapted to current leadership roles?

Be open-minded, welcoming, and curious about other cultures! While there, I learned so much about Hawaiian and Filipoino culture that I never knew existed, especially within the U.S.. The most important lesson I learned was to live life with Aloha: living with love, kindness, and grace!

How did it impact you as a sorority/fraternity leader?

This experience expanded my view on the world and created a deep curiosity to explore the different cultures within our community. Additionally, working with military families that often moved away to other stations and developing friendships with staff in Hawai'i helped me realize the importance of creating and maintaining relationships with others outside of your organization/immediate surroundings.