Program Director Donna McHale

Seabees photo of Donna

Donna McHale
Program Director

How did you get involved with Camp One Step?

My sister died of ovarian cancer in 1986. Our family wanted to do something in her memory, and my aunt found Camp One Step. I became a volunteer to keep my sister’s memory alive and make something positive out of her cancer journey.

How long have you been involved with the organization?

I started volunteering for camp in 1987 and have been coming back yearly since then.

What volunteer roles have you held?

I’ve been a camp counselor at Summer camp for both Excursion and Excel, led games for Family Camp, and been the Program Director for Seabees.

What keeps you coming back to Camp One Step?

Camp is family. Camp is my mission and purpose in this life. We have been able to create an amazing camp family – this is critical to everyone who attends camp. Camp is utopia and how the world should be. The strength, compassion, and love we share within our camp family is never-ending.

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

I lead the Seabees Leadership Program, which was created for a special group of campers who were aging out of camp. Dr. Baum created camp for campers like the Seabees. He wanted everyone to have a place at camp as long as they wanted to attend. We focus on creating independent living skills and giving back to camp. I am so proud of my Seabee family. Each member of the Seabees has grown in so many ways. They have said that their Seabee family has helped them achieve goals they never thought they would achieve.

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

The campers are the heart and soul of camp. Each one of the campers is amazing. Remember you are strong, fearless, and you will be amazing on your cancer journey. Your camp family is always here to support you and circle you with our strong camp love. Never give up!

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

There are many places where you can volunteer your time and energy; however, there is no place like Camp One Step. This is an exceptional place with exceptional people creating miracles every day. Once you join the family, you are hooked and never want to leave.

What are some of your interests outside of camp?

Is there anything outside of camp? I love to travel – for business and pleasure. I am an avid swimmer and work out daily. I embrace the World of Disney and Harry Potter – and love our trips to Disney World and Universal Studios with my Seabee family. I have two golden retrievers, Bailey and Maggie who keep me busy with their daily walks. I enjoy photography and have a zillion pictures of my family and my Seabee family. I enjoy all of life’s adventures!