Discourse Community

Temi Akinfeleye                                                                                                   2/24/2020
English Composition 2

My “Discourse Community” is my first job as a counselor at a camp called “Merrick Woods Daycamp”. It was a summer camp for kids 3-17 year old’s. This camp goal was to make sure that the kids attending the camp enjoy their summer and will make their camp experiences memorable. This summer camp makes it a discourse community because everyone who was working there as a camp counselor had a goal. And their goal was to make sure the kids were taken care of, have a great time at the camp, and also make money as soon as summer is over

During the time while I was at the summer camp,I had a few initial assumptions about the discourse community which is the summer camp.My initial assumptions about the discourse community was that the counselors who were working at the camp were stuck up, rich, and also rude. I assumed that the camp and the managers of the camp were very strict and perfect. My last assumption was that I thought the babies(Since I worked with the nursery) were not going to like me. However, the assumptions I made were wrong.The camp counselors were friendly and welcoming,the camp managers and the co workers were cool and very relaxed about everything while the camp was still going on. While you are working on schedule with the camp and the children, the counselors will get a different format of the schedule for the day. They wont have the same activities on their schedule everyday. Also every morning the camp starts at 10a.m. and before the children get into their groups and their own classrooms they will first say “The Pledge of Elegance”.  The camp provides the kids lunch, however, the counselors cannot eat the camps lunch only because its only for the kids. The counselors would have to buy or bring their own lunch. Sometimes the counselors can take the kids lunch only if there are leftovers. Most of the times the kids can also bring their own lunch.

Throughout the day the kids will do fun outdoor actives and at the end of the day the kids will receive ice cream and would be packed up and ready to go home. Every Friday the camp arranges shows for the kids. Such as Magic shows, talent shows, and sometimes skits. Most of the time the counselors would have to join the kids during their activities only to show them how to play the games or to sometimes keep the counselors active and not lazy.

I researched this group by looking online and researched “Ratings on Merrick woods counselors’ ‘ and I also looked up merrick woods social media so I can see what their counselors looked like. I also even asked my sister and her friend how the counselors are and old were they. I asked my sister and her friend because they used to work at the summer camp themselves. While I was working with the kids at camp I was also observing the other counselors and how they acted with the kids and also how they acted with other counselors. What I learned about the counselors is that all they talk about is college and what they are doing after the summer camp is over.After i realized they have conversations about things i can relate to that’s when i started talking to the counselors who were my age and also maybe even a little older than me.

What makes this community is that the counselors are very welcoming and so are the other co-workers. They will always check up on you when you’re not in the best mood. And sometimes will even bring you gifts and buy you food without even asking. The camp itself is also unique because they provide entertainment for both kids and counselors such as: magic shows, talent shows,zoos, bouncy houses, and sometimes indoor amusement parks. The camp also has separate pools for different ages. One thing that this Discourse community .values the most is the kids and their enjoyable times while attending the camp. The managers care about how the kids feel and if they are having a fun time everyday.There is a process to become a member. First you’ll have to apply online on the Merrick Woods website, then they will email you a reference sheet, then after you will be interviewed by the owner of the camp. One way the members communicate is by talking after the kids go home and they sometimes have walkie talkies for the older or head counselor of the group. Most of the times the counselors would also communicate on social media which is easier because they use social media almost every day.

Therefore the discourse community that I discovered and experienced taught me many lessons and surprised me in many ways. For instance, they taught to always have patience especially with kids. They also taught me that not every counselor or co worker will get along with you and that you should always make sure you have a good relationship with your own counselor that you were paired up with. I also learned that everyone had different goals after they graduate high school. For example, most of my co workers wanted to be a nurse and most of them wanted to travel after high school and not even go to college so instead they wanted to get a good paying job. What made me rethink the way I initially looked at the group was the people there and how they took me in with open arms and opened hearts. While I was working at the camp nothing seemed confusing to me at all. I knew what was going on and how to handle things at the camp. I truly enjoyed this discourse community because it was a very great learning experience and it was also sometimes fun with the kids. I would definitely recommend this discourse community to someone who enjoys children or who is looking for a job over the summer.

Discourse community of Viman Gunawardana

Viman Gunawardana


Word Count: 909


My Discourse Community

In my discourse community we use Morse code; It’s a type of code where we use signals or show signs of communicating with one another. This is a discourse community because only my co-worker and I know about. It is our mini language. Not only do we use this language for fun, it is important that we use this language because that is the only way we can have a conversation with each other at work for work-related purposes. This is mainly important because while I speak English, my co-worker only speaks Spanish and doesn’t speak English at all, hence why this language is important to us. I really thought this wouldn’t work at first, but few months later, here we are, communicating perfectly in our own language. This way of communication couldn’t have worked any way better than we would have thought it was going to be.

My discourse community is unique because my co-worker and I are the only ones that knows about this language. In fact, this is the way we communicate for most of the time. The only things that matter in my discourse community is if we are there at work. When we are at work, we bang on objects that make loud noises. This is crucial that we have this is because our workplace is extremely large and most of the time, we tend to work a good distance away from each other. For example, I will be working near the main entrance while my co-worker works in the corner that is approximately seven cars away from me. Another crucial item to our discourse community are our ears. You must listen carefully to the other persons beat. If you don’t completely pay attention to the beat, you will most likely end up in getting the wrong tool or part. You will also waste time if this happens because the other person must go run back to the other side of the building and get the right part or tool. We can’t have this happen in our workplace because time is a key factor in our job, and it is something we don’t have. In fact, we value time the most in our job, we work at a busy motorsports shop where we modify customers cars, or their motorcycles and they give us a deadline to complete their project. It is an extremely fast paced environment. We also value each other’s presence because most of the time, there are customer projects that are big, and we need both hands-on decks. There really isn’t much room for another member in our discourse community because not only did it take us a few weeks to create a code for communication, we also had to practice getting the hang of it. It took me nearly a month in order to execute the signals perfectly, however, my co-worker took two-and-a-half months just to get the hang of it. As you can see, this is time-consuming and for the most parts, time is never on our side. My co-worker and I communicate with the everyday objects that we have around us, like car horns and motorcycle horns, toolboxes, trashcans, claps, stomps and more. I learned that there is always a way to communicate with another person, even if you don’t speak the same language. When me and my co-worker are out of work, I use google translate in order to communicate with him for fun or what we are going to do the next day. Google translate is also important because my co-worker usually goes to therapy at unexpected times, so he texts me on what needs to get done in the shop for the following day. My co-worker also uses google transalate because he would always let me know when he will come to work, if he is going to be running late, if he is going to make it on time, or even if he is not going to make it at all. My co-worker lives in the Bronx, so he always texts me with details about his trip. Same goes for me as well. It works both ways. I am the only one out of both of us that uses google translate because my co-worker doesn’t know how to read English either. Before creating the code with my co-worker, I literally had no way of communicating with him in any way. Luckily, my manager spoke Spanish and helped me speak with him translating for me. We somehow managed to communicate with each other into our way of creating the code that we use today.

All in all, I learned from my discourse community that we didn’t need to speak the same language to understand or have a full conversation with each other. Even though it was hard at first, we came up with a resolution to use the Morse code in our discourse community. The thing that surprised me the most was that me and my co-worker eventually understands each other, even though it took us months to create the code and for us to execute it properly. I initially thought that I would never find a way to work or communicate with my new co-worker, but it eventually worked out.

Works Cited

Ramirez, Flaco (co-worker), text via Google Translate, 19th of November 2019 – 21st of February 2020

Hernandez, George (Manager), In-Person, 19th of November 2019