How did you get involved with Camp One Step?
I started coming to camp when I was twelve years old after I had been diagnosed with Leukemia earlier that year. My very first program was one that my doctor had recommended, the Washington D.C. Advocacy Trip. It was there that I met some amazing people, now lifelong friends, that convinced me to try Summer Camp that following year. The rest is history!
How long have you been involved with the organization?
I have been involved with Camp One Step since 2006. First as a camper, then as a camp counselor and now as a program coordinator for Connected.
What volunteer roles have you held?
I have been a camp counselor for Summer Camp, Winter Camp, Washington D.C., Family Camp, Utah Ski Trip, Brain Tumor Family Camp, Chicago Day Camp, and almost all of the CONNECTED programming done since its inception. I am now super excited to step into a leadership volunteer role with Connected.
What keeps you coming back to Camp One Step?
As a former camper myself, what keeps me coming back is the magic that camp creates when we all come together. When you have something like cancer rip through your life, it’s hard to find people who truly understand your journey. Better yet, its even harder to find a group of people that understand you are still a kid that has dreams and goals. Camp is that special place where you can come to get back to making those dreams and goals a reality surrounded by people who just…get it.
What do you love the most about the program you lead?
What I love most about CONNECTED is the way that this program can bring that magic of camp right into your home. There could be any number of reasons why someone may not be able to participate in in person programming, but this allows us to continue to deliver exceptional experiences to those individuals. It’s also a great way to see all of your camp friends throughout the year in between other programming, who wouldn’t love that?
What are some words of wisdom or advice that you would give campers?
Camp is a wonderful place where your life doesn’t revolve around your diagnosis, you can just be a kid! Don’t be afraid to make new friends and step outside of your comfort zone, everybody at camp loves to cheer each other on and watch others succeed. If in person camp seems like too big of a step, try CONNECTED. It’s a great way to get involved in camp without having to leave home.
What are some words of wisdom or advice that you would give new or interested volunteers?
Even if you don’t have a personal experience with cancer, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to be an amazing volunteer. Everybody has something to offer and we want to see what makes you stand out. Also, don’t be afraid to let loose. Camp is the perfect place to be goofy and have some fun!
What are some of your interests outside of camp?
Outside of camp I love playing video games, my favorite franchise is The Legend of Zelda. I also love playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends, painting designs on skateboard decks, and hanging out with my three dogs and two cats. If you don’t find me doing any of those things, chances are I am snuggled up with a fuzzy blanket and a yummy cup of coffee.