No one would ever have accused me of being shy, but on my first day as a Pit Party helper in 2006 I had a “moment”.
As the birthday boy’s friends arrived with presents and I lay out cones for Capture the Flag, I told my leader Michelle quite honestly, “I don’t think I can do this.” (16 year old me had a flair for the dramatic). Having none of my nonsense, she (figuratively) pushed me out onto the field with a definitive, “of course you can.” She was right, of course, and it’s what I now tell all our newbies!
The reasons I signed up to work Pit Parties and Camps as a sixteen year old were two-fold: to earn some pocket money, and to have “something” to put on my university application. What I ended up doing was making lifelong friends, finding my feet as an adult, having flexible ongoing work for six years, and learning to balance academics with the other, equally important, stuff!
Those muddy years in The Pit gave me confidence, responsibility, and ownership of my time, and funds. It was valuable during school and after – whenever I came back to Singapore for uni break, I could line up weeks of work and fun. My references from Centaurs were, a university administrar told me, “the best he’d ever read”.
Now, I’m back at Centaurs and I’ve got the best job: leading our own team of Helpers and Leaders who are working towards their own exciting paths. Some of them, like me, are saving for school trips and creating a fund for university. Unlike me, I hope they won’t blow it all in Fresher’s week!
If you’d like to work with us, we’d like to hear from you. Drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charli helped and ran Centaurs Pit Parties & Camps for six years: throughout her GSCEs & A-Levels at Tanglin Trust School, and in every stretch of holiday between Sydney University semesters. Alongside her Community Manager role, she is also Kids Manager.