Austin Cappelle

Program Director 

Utah Ski Program

How did you get involved with Camp One Step?

Dr. Baum was my oncologist and invited me to be a Standard camper at Summer Camp when I was 5 years old – that was the summer of 1984.  He told my parents I was going!

How long have you been involved with the organization?

I was a camper from 1984 – 1996, and started volunteering in 1997.  Dr. Baum told me the summer I was 16 that I was done “horsing” around as a camper and I was going to be a counselor the next year.  So I began volunteering when I was 17, prior to the start of the One Step Further (Counselor in Training) Program and the counselor’s minimum age being changed to 21 years old.  And I have been volunteering ever since.

What volunteer roles have you held?

I have participated in a number of camp programs over the years.  I was a Counselor for Summer Camp, Winter Camp, Family Camp, White Water Rafting (now Utah Adventure Program), and the Utah Ski Program.  I have been involved with the Seabees Leadership Program, both as a facilitator for Summer Camp and as a previous co-director for the program. I also have been a Group Leader for Winter Camp.  Currently, I am one of the Program Directors for the Utah Ski Program and Utah Adventure Program.   I participated as a board member on camp’s Junior Board for Milwaukee and Chicago, and also volunteer for the Chicago Marathon and Poker fundraising initiatives.

What keeps you coming back to Camp One Step?

Camp life is a part of my life, there’s no separation.  I don’t feel like I’m coming back, it’s a part of who I am, my friends, my life, my experiences.   It doesn’t feel like other volunteer activities I’ve done like Habit for Humanity, Feed My Starving Children, college service trips, etc.

What do you love the most about the program you lead?

What I love most about the current programs I run is two-fold:

  • The smaller group atmosphere creates so many great sharing experiences and bonds
  • Providing an experience where campers have the opportunity to excel at activities they might not have the means or the willingness to try, all within the comfort of the camp environment

What are some words of wisdom or advice that you would give campers?

Oh wow, every camper experience is different which is an amazing aspect – each person involved with camp is so different.  I’d definitely say let go to the experience, get involved, and engage with the fellow people on that particular program.

What are some words of wisdom or advice that you would give new or interested volunteers?

I’d tell those interested to ask questions, get involved, and most of all be open to the kids!  They teach us as much and more every program.

What are some of your interests outside of camp?

Dancing, I used to teach swing dancing and still love to dance today.

Motorcycle riding, I love riding my Harley all year round!

Love chill nights around a bonfire at my house with family and friends!

Play basketball weekly.