Humans of HM: Davis Parzick (12)

Natalie Sweet, Staff Writer

For most students, summer is a time to relax, go to the beach, or work at a job or internship. Davis Parzick (12), on the other hand, spent his summer doing something that not many other students can boast about: being an instructor for an American Ninja Warrior Course.

Last summer, Parzick worked six hours per day at Challenge Camps in Hartsdale, New York for three weeks. Challenge Camps is an academic summer camp for gifted children ranging from ages four to 14 who would like to learn about diverse subjects outside of their regular classes during the school year, he said.

“There were 3D drawing sessions, LEGO animation activities, Junior Entrepreneurship programs, and environmental science classes,” Parzick said. “When I wasn’t working as a Ninja Warrior instructor, I helped kids make pinball machines.”

Parzick originally decided to apply for the job after suggestions from his parents, he said. “I wanted to do something productive during my summer, and Challenge Camps was 15 minutes away from my house, so the commute was pretty convenient,” he said.

American Ninja Warrior is an extremely difficult obstacle course that athletes from all across America can compete in on live television, Parzick said. As an instructor for a smaller version of the course, Parzick focused his teaching mainly on physical conditioning. Activities varied from running long distances, doing push-ups and pull ups, using sling shots to shoot at targets, and jumping through hula hoops, he said.

For Parzick, the job was rewarding because it taught him leadership skills and helped him develop his discipline. “I feel that the kids left camp with ideals of hard work that I tried to teach,” he said.

One challenge that Parzick faced as an instructor was taking care of the children, especially since they were always running around in an unsafe manner, he said. He also learned how to take care of bee stings and other injuries that require basic first aid, he said.

“American Ninja Warrior was a unique experience for both the kids and the instructors at Challenge Camp,” he said.