Pros: great experience with children or people with special needs; friendly working environment
Cons: staff members could sometimes be immature, leading to clique-like groups. participant's tantrums potentially harmful to staff and participants.
In the Therapeutic Rec Services (later became Neighborhood and Community Services), the working environment was dedicated to the stimulation and advancement of the participants that we were charged with caring for. Summer programs were hectic and fast paces, but the friendly working environment made for a supportive group of coworkers that helped each other out in bad situations. Daily activities and events were planned on a weekly basis by the Rec 2 (later became "TR Leader"), and plans were carried out and led by staff members (Rec 1s and 2s). Any problems arising from a participant's behavioral or other issues needed to be handled delicately and quickly by staff members, because a participant's tantrums could potentially harm themselves, other participants, and/or staff members. The Quality Assurance and the Rec 3 would develop a plan to ensure the issues were taken care of. These issues would occur occasionally due to the behaviors of some participants, but would usually be handled appropriately to keep issues from disrupting or harming the other participants.
The hardest aspect of the job comes from staff members. Since most of the staff were between the ages of 16 and 30, drama would sometimes cause discomfort between staff members. I do not mean to say that any staff members were emotionally damaged by cruel psychological "attacks," but that the immaturity of staff members and interactions taking place outside of work usually lead to uncomfortable working conditions. However, in my experience, staff members had to rely on each other, and almost always put any awkwardness behind them to achieve the goal of providing a fun and safe place for participants to socialize in.