Julie Hecktman

Program Director

Chicago Day Camp

How did you get involved with Camp One Step?

A good friend held a fundraiser for Camp One Step each year.  I asked him to tell me more about the camp, and the next thing you know, I’m a counselor!

How long have you been involved with the organization?

I started volunteering with Camp One Step in 2002.

What volunteer roles have you held?

  • Chicago Day Camp – Program Director
  • One Step Further (Counselor in Training program) – Program Leader
  • Washington, D.C.Program – Counselor
  • Brain Tumor Family Camp – Counselor
  • Sibling Camp – Counselor
  • Summer Camp – Counselor
  • Dude Ranch Program – Counselor
  • Family Camp – Counselor
  • Winter Camp Virtual – Group Leader

What keeps you coming back to Camp One Step?

My immediate response is… camp is fun!  I laugh more during camp than at any other time– belly-splitting, red-in-the-face laughter.  I love the sound of laughter that permeates throughout camp. I love watching friendships develop and continue year after year.  I am inspired by the encouragement and compassion the campers show each other.  I love that moment when kids realize all that they CAN do.  I am inspired by the spirit they bring to every endeavor.  I am inspired by their resiliency.  Their hearts shine through!

The camaraderie among both the campers and staff is unparalleled.  Memories we share never fail to bring a smile to our faces and fill our hearts. Camp is truly a second family.

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

I love welcoming younger campers into the Camp One Step family, providing fun experiences that they might not otherwise have, watching new friendships blossom, and creating trusting relationships with the families.

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

Go for it!  Try new things.  Be silly.  Come with a few jokes and riddles. 

What are some of your interests outside of camp?

Traveling, my pet bunny, genealogy, enjoying nature