May 2022 TeamMates of the Month: Not Just About the Games
TeamMates Kameron and Dale always greet each other with a handshake they created nearly five years ago when they first began visiting. Then a shy third-grader, Kameron admits it was a little “weird” to meet the stranger who would become his mentor.
“I remember the first thing Kameron asked me was ‘Well, tell me about yourself,’” said Dale. “From a third grader? Wow,” he laughs.
At Cathedral of the Risen Christ School, the match got to know one another by finding games and activities they both enjoyed.
“I always ask Kameron what he wants to do,” said Dale. “This is his time.”
While they occasionally throw a football or shoot hoops, their current go-to game is cribbage, a game Dale’s father taught him, and he has now taught Kameron.
“Dale is always open to doing anything. It’s fun and it’s not just about the games,” said Kameron. “It’s about having something to do instead of just staring at a wall and talking to each other…It’s an awesome time to catch up on each other’s life and what’s happening,” said Kameron.
Kameron says Dale’s commitment to learning new activities has taught him about perseverance. “One of the things I’ve learned is not to give up and keep trying. He may not have said it exactly, but I’ve learned that through his actions and just the way he does things.”
“Whenever he wanted to learn a game’s exact rules, he would tell me, ‘I’m going to go home and learn this for next week,’ and he would come back and tell me all about it,” said Kameron. “Which is awesome because knowing me I probably would have forgotten.”
As for Kameron’s strengths, Dale admires his mentee’s computer skills and how he is a role model to younger students. “Walking down the hall, kids look up to him and give him a fist bump,” said Kameron. “He’s always kind and generous with others.”
Dale thinks the consistency of his visits helped earn Kameron’s trust over time. “It’s nice to know I can have something I can rely on if I need to share something or need to talk about anything,” said Kameron.
“His attendance is great too, and he knows I’m going to be here every week,” said Dale.
That’s a deal they can shake on.