Writing about Life Changes

Worksite Location
4-H Camp Bristol Hills, Canandaigua, NY
Faculty Sponsor
Jane Mendle
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Tim Davis, 4-H Camp Bristol Hills
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

Part of the mission of 4-H is to provide youth with the life skills, social and emotional awareness, and knowledge to reach their full potentials. As children enter early adolescence, they find themselves navigating significant biological, social, emotional and cognitive changes. Virtually all children find this time of life challenging, and it can be a period of severe vulnerability for some. Expressive writing is a brief intervention which has been shown to be remarkably effective for individuals in periods of life change. Last year, we were fortunate to have 45 girls aged 10-13 participate in an expressive writing project focused on puberty and adolescent development, and we are looking to expand our project this summer.

Roles and Responsibilities

The RAs will be running the expressive writing intervention over the course of the 5 weeks, and will be responsible for the following:
(1) facilitating the expressive writing exercises with campers
(2) collecting questionnaires on mood and relationships from campers
(3) leading debriefing sessions with campers who complete the writing exercise;
(4) serving as liaisons among camp staff, counselors, Cornell faculty, and all other members of the project team
(5) entering data and other basic research tasks

All project work on camp grounds takes place Mon-Fri. There are no weekend activities at the camp, and interns - like all other camp employees -- will not be permitted to stay on camp grounds during the weekends.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Must be a full time CHE freshman, sophomore or junior. Graduating seniors are not eligible. Must meet NYS Department of Motor Vehicle requirement, if applicable.

- Must be willing and available to live in 4-H Camp Bristol Hills in Canandaigua, NY during a 5 week period, from June 23 to Aug 2, 2013, Mon-Fri. (Note: On weekends, all camp staff and RAs will be required to leave camp grounds.)
- While on camp grounds, interns are required to abide by all camp rules and policies.
- Must feel confident interacting with adolescents, have strong interpersonal sensitivity, and be able to discuss a broad range of topics calmly and effectively
- Must be able to pass a criminal background check that is required of anyone working with children in a camp setting.
- No previous coursework or experience is necessary, but prior knowledge of and experience working with adolescents or conducting research is beneficial

Benefits and Skills

- This is an ideal internship for students interested in psychological intervention and applied research, and particularly those who may be considering graduate work in psychology
- Interns will receive a stipend of $1,333. (Please note that this is less