RealJobs: Ashley Naranjo

Ashley Naranjo’s work day on Tuesday, February 9, 2010.

The DC snowstorm has thrown quite a wrench in some of my work plans for the week. Though my job is based around children’s programs that take place during hot and humid Virginia summers, it is a year-round job that encompasses a number of different roles. In general, much of what makes our Summer Programs so successful (approximately 1,400 campers last summer) is the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes during the off-season of October to May. In the past few months, we have begun online registration, camp fairs and open houses.

Thanks to the internet, I was able to do a good amount of work from home today, communicating with the Co-Curricular Director and the Preschool Program Director. Our promotional materials for our newly added programs came in from the publishing company and we are currently working on a smaller tri-fold brochure for a satellite site that will be a new addition to the program this year. These publications will be helpful when visiting local schools’ camp fairs in the coming weeks.

Aside from the marketing brochures that are in their last stages of production, we are also working on our Winter Newsletter. During the off-season, we limit our newsletters to three emails so there is a certain importance on filling the newsletter with valuable information and keeping our families interested in what we can offer year-round as to avoid being seen as spam. This time around, I am excited to announce our second charity walk that we are participating in at Nationals Stadium in the Spring to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

We are also opening new programs during Spring Break, as well as some new week-long options for the summer including some of my personal favorites like Mexican Cooking and Yoga for Kids. The idea behind the wide variety that we offer being that each child is exposed to a number of different ideas and skill sets to experience.

As I’m writing about my current job, I realize that I am thankful for the time I spent during the Halftime Retreat and using some of my time in college to identify things I was good at and passionate about. It may not fit into a very specific profession, but over time, I think that knowledge has helped me to figure out what I am not interested in and closer to finding a position that is more in line with my deeper interests.

I like that my position is constantly evolving and changes depending on the season. For example, in the summer, I spend most of my days outdoors overseeing the activities (swimming, sports, the challenge course, nature walks, archery..) , but during the winter, a majority of my time is spent doing marketing and program design behind a desk. It is hard to believe that in just four months, summer will arrive, especially when you’re surrounded by three feet of snow.

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