This summer has been full of stress, excitement, and a learning. I have learned many different aspects that I have never seen before on the farm.
I have faced many different challenges during the course of my internship. One of the major challenges was to get the summer camp employees to stay on track and to follow directions. These ranged from redirecting them during activities, correcting employees’ bad habits, and discussing their tardiness during camp. Another challenge that I faced was with one of my employees, Wanda (Ashley). Wanda has been in summer camp for the last 21 years and has rotated from camp director, camp counselor, and now senior camp counselor. She never followed the new protocol and listened to the new advice for the revamped camp. She was difficult to work with because there was tension and negative energy. By the end of the summer, she was much better and started to follow the new plans.
This internship hasn’t affected my career search. I am still interested in public relations and Hunt Club Farm. It is a multi-million-dollar business and family owned. I plan on working at the farm the year after I graduate unless I become a celebrity personal assistant.
I have gained the skills that I detailed in my first journal entry. The major skill that I gained and also wanted to learn was the skill of delegating task to other employees. This skill took many weeks to gain because I always wanted to do everything myself. After getting burned out during week 3 of camp, I stepped up my game and started to delegate the task to all of my employees and volunteers.
I feel as if I was mentored fairly during my internship. My boss, Rendy Richards, has now become my best friend and we had a great summer. We were able to take a summer camp and re-image it to become modern. Rendy guided me throughout the way and was literally just a phone call away. I was also mentored by the General Manager and close family friend, Gerry Doyle. Gerry was able to show me behind the scenes of how the beer festivals run. I had the privilege of sitting in on many of the executive board meetings in regard to the planning of the festivals. I also was given the opportunity to promote Blue Moon, our own beer festival, at a Virginia Beach Hotel Association Meeting with the farm events coordinator. Stephen and I went to the meeting and presented our event to the folks and were able to hand out posters to displace at the oceanfront hotels.
I would not suggest Hunt Club Farm to future students seeking internships, but not for a bad reason! I have been with Hunt Club Farm since 8thgrade, so I know everyone who works there, and many are close family friends. I had to do many projects and delegate task myself without the help of others. Looking from the outside on in, people who haven’t been raised on the farm wouldn’t be a good fit. The workers are friendly and nice, but everyone knows where everything is exactly. Training someone new is very hard, especially if it’s your first time at the farm or on a farm period.
Here is a sample of one of my tasks. For blue moon, we update the layout every year. This year, we made a few major changes. For this task, I was assigned to circle all of the things that are different compared to this year’s layout. All of the red circles show what was changed from last year and is no longer in the same spots. This is then sent over to Chesbay brewing company to be confirmed for the beer events. This particular event was the Blue Moon Beer Festival.
After the plans were switched for each beer event during the course of my internship, we had to change the Huntclubfarm.com website to match what the ticket sales website stated. In order to do this, I had to print out what the ticket sale website said compared to our website. What was different is highlighted in yellow and what is not on our website and important for the customers is in red circles. This is then emailed to 3ways media. This company runs all of our social media and are who we go through to get everything online done and posted.
My next task during my internship included reports. A sample of one of the reports that I have done was the scheduled vs. worked report. On this report it shows what hours that we planned on the employee working and what they actually worked when they used the time clock. Rendy and I had to print these each week and review them. We had to determine why some employees were late, why some had stayed on the clock past there shift and use these numbers for payroll to be sent to Sevannah. The highlights showed the different weeks during the summer.
During the beginning of my internship, I was able to plan summer camp and set up the marketing/advertisements. I was able to contact WTKR Channel 3 reporter Brheanna Berry to come out to the farm. The link above will show you what information I provided her, the owner of the farm and Rendy being interviewed with questions that I selected, and a look at the farm. I was able to help the camera-man select shots for the videos and was also able to help shoot B-Roll. This was an amazing experience to get hands on learning when they came out. Summer Camp was booked for all 10 weeks during the first 2 weeks of summer camp because of this live broadcast that I had set up.
Another task that I was assigned during the beginning of my internship starting in April was to update the old summer camp counselor binder for each counselor to carry with them from point to point. This binder ensures that all facts given to the children are correct and that we aren’t saying random stuff. This binder is extensive, and needs updated each year as the petting farm is constantly changing. The binder starts with the schedudle for two groups weekly in the front and one group during the fourth of July week on the back of the binder. When you open the binder on the left-hand side pocket are boo boo reports in case a child is injured. The middle of the binder is split into three huge sections with the middle being the biggest. The first sections include roles and responsibilities for every position in summer camp so that the counselors are aware of everyone’s roles. This was new this year and created by Rendy and myself. The next section included every animal and animal class facts that are on the farm currently. These facts are the ones we teach the kids every day after the animal activity.