COVID-19: Not Our First Challenge, and Definitely Not Our Last

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By Mary Clements

Since starting Les Petites Pommes 11 years ago, I have had to constantly rise above to face new challenges and while COVID-19 is certainly one for the books, it’s not the first and it definitely won’t be the last.

Camper and staff safety is always our number 1 priority and now is no different. While we continue to promote our plan A (running summer camps in person) our team is prepared to pivot to comply with the best interests of public health and recommendations. We have already been collaborating with other summer camps in our network coming up with alternatives to continue to serve and provide value for our communities and different ways of addressing possible scenarios. As news and forecasts change everyday and we are still a ways away from summer, we will continue to keep everyone up to date if/what changes must be made.

Until then, I wanted to talk to you about one of our programs that bolsters this “I Can” and solutions oriented mindset.

The first time I ran camps, I was in my final year of university. I didn’t have the support of the awesome team I have today, and I was jumping into a new, exciting and scary challenge… I hadn’t considered possibility of entrepreneurship before. Many people offered their opinions/concern for me that they were worried I would not succeed since while I was awesome working with and teaching students, I had no business training. Coming from a humanities background, they were right. But to their surprise that summer was a great success (I had 53 students attend throughout the 8 weeks and even hired 1 other teacher!) Over the years I have taught myself what I needed to know, sought out professionals to help me and to be part of our team, and participated in many personal/business development courses along the way!

One place that has helped me believe that I could over come any challenge is fitness. Whether it was through my personal trainer, running or lifting weights  or at Crossfit, consistently setting goals and then reaching them has set me on a path where I always believe “I CAN”. Even now, without access to the gym, fitness has been a great outlet to destress and provide a win every day. Right now I’m learning from the comfort of my own living room how to dance through Youtube tutorials! (30 minute HIP HOP fun and way harder then it looks!)

Our Back -To-School Bootcamp is a program we have offered for 2 summers now and is a combination of extreme French grammar and Crossfit style exercises in which the main objective is for our Petites Pommes to be practicing setting goals to be better then they were yesterday. The grammar component for this program is built upon observing over the past 11 years the places where students most commonly come to our tutoring program for help with.