This summer I was lucky enough to work for the Richard Hugo House in Seattle. The Hugo House as it is better known is a center for writing and writers. They host readings, adult classes, and a robust youth program. I spent lots of time there in high school so it was a great experience to be able to give back. I was the intern for their Scribes summer camp, which focuses on creative writing for talented teens.
At the beginning of the summer I worked in the office. My tasks mostly included working with databases and the families of campers in order to insure everything would run smoothly. This was the most challenging part of the internship for me because I am not especially good with technology and sitting in an office doesn’t suit my on the go personality. These difficulties were helped by the fact that all my coworkers were great and I made important relationships within the Seattle literary community.
The bulk of my internship was spent helping at camp. Each camp was two weeks and took place at a Hugo House partner. First was a sci-fi and fantasy themed class that happened at the Experience Music Project (EMP). The campers got to draw from all the exhibits from one about Star Trek to an exploration of horror films. Then there was a camp hosted by the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) where we focused on questions of place and temporality. My favorite memories from this session were the 6-mile walk we took all the way around Lake Union and the final reading of camper’s work that took place on a beautiful historic boat called the Virginia V.
During camps I participated in various ways. I acted as a teacher giving prompts and feedback when we were split into smaller groups. I also acted as an example by completing to the best of my abilities every task given to the campers and always sharing my work. When campers were being rowdy or disrespectful I would act as another set of hands for the teachers.
One of the most beneficial aspects of the camps for me was meeting new mentors. Each camp had two teachers who are established writers. They all helped me greatly with my own writing by editing my work and suggesting places I could submit it. I look forward to nurturing these relationships I was lucky enough to establish.