Emma DiPompo, 25, of Jay stands Monday in front of a bulletin board she created at the Spruce Mountain Elementary School in Jay. She will lead the Spruce Mountain Summer Recreation Program in Jay this summer. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

JAY — Emma DiPompo, who attended the Spruce Mountain Summer Recreation Program as a child and was a counselor in her teen years, is now a leader for the program.

DiPompo, 25, of Jay said she is excited about the opportunity to run the program with Co-director Jared Berry of Livermore. The program starts June 24 and will take place at Spruce Mountain Middle School.

Berry is an education technician, teaching younger children how to use electronic devices such as computers at Spruce Mountain Primary School in Livermore. He is a graduate of Livermore Falls High School.

DiPompo, a 2017 graduate of Spruce Mountain High School, is an education technician in the office of Jennifer Stone, a guidance counselor, at Spruce Mountain Elementary School.

She attended the program as a child and became a counselor for a couple years before heading off to horse training school and becoming a stable staff supervisor instructor in West Virginia and Ohio, respectively. When she returned to Jay a few years later, she took on more responsibilities and duties as a counselor at the summer program.

DiPompo said she will do the daily organizing of the six-week program. Berry will organize what age groups will participate in different activities.

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Co-director Emma DiPompo looks Monday at the schedule for the Spruce Mountain Summer Recreation Program in Jay. The six-week program will begin June 24 at Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

“I love the summer recreation program. It is so fun,” DiPompo said. “There are a lot of activities planned.”

DiPompo said she lets the kids learn from their experiences. If they want to change the rules to the game, they have to learn the consequences in a safe, structured way.

“It is student-guided learning,” she said.

She plans to share her love of the outdoors with the children.

“I like being outside and getting the kids outside,” she said. “We’re going to do hiking in the woods.”

There is an adventure course behind the high and middle schools, and there are over 100 acres of town recreation land behind it. DiPompo plans to have the participants explore nature.

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“We’re going to try to get everybody outside as much as possible,” she said.

She helps children at the elementary school plant seeds to watch them grow in the greenhouse behind the school. If children who attend the summer program want to learn, they will have an opportunity to do so.

Spruce Mountain Summer Recreation Program Co-director Emma DiPompo of Jay looks Monday at seedlings children planted at Spruce Mountain Elementary School in Jay. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

DiPompo said she enjoys working with children.

She remembers one time during the program that a child had never swam at a lake, had never been to a theater or a bowling alley, and the program gave him the opportunity to do it.

“We gave him the opportunity to branch out to do those activities,” she said. “He was so excited.”

DiPompo has chickens, two dachshund dogs, Kujo and Gizmo, and two cats, Alanzo and Alaska, at home.

She also enjoys cooking.

“I can a lot of soups and broth,” DiPompo said. “I am generally a good cook.”


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