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Caped Crusader

Each month, Central Penn Parent features a child who is doing great things. They pitch in to make a difference in their schools, places of worship and throughout their communities. They are a blessing to those around them—yet their efforts often go unrecognized. We want to thank them for a job well done! Each child receives a cape and a prize package from our sponsors.

York teen mentors preschoolers

Hannah Swalin doesn’t like to be bored. So last year, instead of spending the summer at home in front of the TV or video games, the 13-year-old decided to volunteer her time to help other kids.

She recently completed her second summer as a volunteer at Christian School of York’s Summer Camp program, guiding the 3- to 5-year-old group.

Although Hannah had attended the summer program herself as a child, and has watched her 7-year-old brother, she didn’t know quite what to expect her first day of camp. “It was pretty scary at the beginning,” she admitted. “It took me a while to get used to it and in a routine of knowing what to do with the kids.”

But Hannah, the daughter of Jason and Shelley Swalin of Manchester Township, quickly found her groove. “We did academics, crafts, board games and read books,” she said.

And she enjoyed herself, too. “I like when we had free time and I got to just play with the kids,” she said with a grin. “It was so much fun to see their imaginations.”

But it wasn’t all summer fun and games. Hannah, who devoted 40 hours each week to the camp, was meeting a need. “No one has volunteered as many hours as she has volunteered,” said Jeanine Tschopp, assistant director of the Christian School of York’s summer camp program. “She arrived with a smile on her face and did whatever we asked her to do.

“She is extremely proactive. She sees a potential problem between campers and resolves it before it escalates into a bigger issue,” Tschopp said. “Her work ethic is to be emulated.”

Hannah doesn’t limit her time and talents to CSY. She also helped out at a vacation Bible school at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church.

Currently in eighth grade at Central York Middle School, Hannah said she’s not quite sure what’s in store for her in the future.

She said she may do something with children—or maybe something based on her passion for design. “I love HGTV,” she said. Her favorite home show host? “Property Brother” Jonathan Scott. Her favorite home show? “Fixer Upper.”

Hannah said she may eventually study architecture or interior design. “I love designing my room,” she said.

 Andrea Ciccocioppo is editor of Central Penn Parent.

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