Honors Summer Snapshots: Paige

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. Honors senior Paige Vaden is making the most of a summer in Des Moines:

My name is Paige Vaden, and this summer I am working as a day camp counselor for the YMCA in Waukee, Iowa. Each morning, I am greeted by about 50 elementary-aged kids. Every week of camp has a different theme and different activities, but I basically get to spend my days playing a variety of games, doing crafts, and going swimming with the kids.

One of the crafts involved us painting each of the kids feet so they could stamp it on paper to make a Disney character. This boy’s footprint turned into Lighting McQueen. As you can see these crafts can get pretty messy (and stinky)!


Dodgeball is the gym game of choice at camp, and the games can get intense. The kids’ favorite version is counselors vs. kids, which puts all the kids on a team against the 8 or so counselors (not surprisingly, the kids usually win).


We also take the kids on a field trip each week. Last week our camp theme was Sports Center, so we got to tour the athletic facilities at Drake University. This field trip has been my favorite one so far. As a Kinesiology student, it was super interesting to get a behind the scenes look at the training rooms and sports medicine equipment.


The Drake relays have hosted over 70 Olympic athletes and 2 world-record holders on its famous blue oval track. At the end of our tour we all got to race a lap around the track!


After work, I usually try head outside or to the gym for a workout. This summer I’m trying out Crossfit, which consists of high-intensity, functional movement. I wanted to tryout this Crossfit gym as a challenge to myself, and I’m definitely getting that challenge each time I show up! I am also taking two online classes this summer, so I try to squeeze in homework and study time in the evenings or during the weekend.


I don’t have a ton of free time during the week, so I try to make the most of my weekends in the Des Moines area by spending time with friends and family. Here’s a picture of a friend and I checking out a restaurant with a great patio.


My favorite thing to do on the weekends is to stop by the Des Moines Farmer’s Market. The market has a ton of local vendors for everything from sweet corn to kombucha. The sights and smells of the market are great, but the thing I love most is all the free samples you can find!


Living at home this summer means I spend more time around my parents, which is great! Here’s a picture of my mom and I in front of an Instagram famous Des Moines mural, after one of our trips to the farmer’s market.


Believe it or not there’s a lot of great stuff do around Des Moines. I’ve been living in this area for about 7 years now, but there’s still things I haven’t tried! Last weekend I went paddle boarding at Grey’s Lake Park which offers bike trails, picnic areas, and watercraft rentals.


My favorite summertime treat is ice cream. And there’s no better place in Des Moines than Snookie’s Malt Shop. Snookie’s is a Des Moines staple and a Vaden family favorite. They even let you bring your dogs out to enjoy a free puppy cone. At the end of a long week, our dog, Molly, likes to wind down with a puppy cone.


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