Being an Intern at RMHC of Richmond

My name is Reid, I am a rising Junior at VCU studying Political Science, and I was the family activities intern at RMH this summer. My primary duty was to plan and execute activities for the families to do in the evenings here at the house. With some families staying for months and months at a time, these activities give the parents a break from planning things to do, and are exciting for the kids. They also provide a nice way to wind down from a long and stressful day at the hospital and act as an icebreaker between the families staying in the house.

Living with other families can be a little awkward at first, but dinnertime and activity time give the kids a chance to play, and the parents an opportunity to socialize with each other.

I wanted my activities to be as enriching and educational as possible, while still being fun, so I did quite a bit of research about the different milestones for different ages of children. However, because all children develop at different rates and have unique challenges, getting to know each family and child was an important part of planning the activities. I also asked each family if they had any requests of things to do, and we ended up having a dance party by request, which was really fun.

Activities for younger children included playing with balloons, coloring, finger painting, an obstacle course, and placing stickers in a line. These activities focused on color recognition, fine and gross motor skills, and following directions. For older children, we did a variety of science and art projects like making sensory slime and musical instruments. I also led a discussion related to the activity with the older children in order to make it more enriching. For example, when we made slime we added coloring and scent to it, then, talked about how we could describe the slime in different ways using our different senses.

My experience at RMH this summer was beyond exceptional. The staff are so welcoming and nice and are very good at what they do. I really enjoyed being able to meet so many new people from so many different places, all while working with an incredible organization!

Most importantly, it reaffirmed my love of service work and my desire to work in the nonprofit sector when I graduate.