Summer is here and that means camp is just around the corner. The AGO has one of the best kids’ camps in town. And we’re inviting teens ages 15–18 to be camp volunteers to help our counsellors to look after young campers in a fast-paced, fun and art-filled atmosphere.
AGO Summer Art Camp is so much fun that some of our volunteers return to become camp staff. That’s exactly what happened with volunteer extraordinaire Niamh Gyulay. We spoke with Niamh to find out why she’s crazy about camp.
AGO: When did you first start volunteering?
Niamh: I started as a volunteer at AGO Art Camp in 2010. It was my first role of responsibility ever, and I had such a good time in my two weeks volunteering that I asked to come back for another session. Every Ontario high school student must complete 40 hours of volunteer work to graduate, but I loved the AGO so much, I continued volunteering well after my 40 hours were completed, until I became a counsellor in 2014. And then in 2017, I became a Lead Counsellor.
AGO: Why did you volunteer?
Niamh: I volunteered initially because I had spent many happy rainy Saturday afternoons and birthday parties in the old children’s centre at the AGO (in the pre-Weston Family Learning Centre days) and had fond memories of learning about art and making the coolest crafts, so I wanted to bring that fun to children.
AGO: What has kept you coming back to camp?
Niamh: Over the years, I’ve made some of my closest friendships with people through camp. Plus, the AGO is amazing place to work. I get to look at priceless masterpieces every single day. But the main reason I love camp is the chance to help children express themselves through art. It’s magical to witness.
AGO: Do you have a favourite artwork at the AGO?
Niamh: It’s so hard to choose just one! The African art collection in the Murray Frum Gallery is definitely one of my favourites. But one of the great things about the AGO is the works in the galleries are always changing. There’s always more for me to see.
AGO: Would you encourage other young people to volunteer?
Niamh: Absolutely! You get to work in a beautiful, iconic building in downtown Toronto, alongside the best camp staff in the city (in my humble opinion) and you get to work with children and sometimes even make art yourself! Oh, and free pizza is definitely a perk.
Want to apply to volunteer at AGO Summer Camp Volunteer? Visit this webpage. The deadline to apply is June 22, 2018.
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