Mark Peterson

Assistant Program Director

Dude Ranch Program

How did you get involved with Camp One Step?

My nephew had cancer and he and his brother became counselors at Camp One Step.  They were counselors for a couple of years before I realized that I should be doing it as well.  Funny story, my other nephew, who was a camp favorite at the time, told me I better not disappoint him.

How long have you been involved with our organization?

I started volunteering for Camp One Step in 2008.

What volunteer roles have you held?

I have been a counselor for Summer Camp (Excursion, WaterSports, Excel), Winter Camp, Sibling Camp, Brain Tumor Family Camp, Family Camp, Utah Ski Program, Chicago Day Camp, and Dude Ranch Program.  I have also been a group leader for Winter Camp and a Program Leader for WaterSports during Summer Camp.  I am currently the Assistant Program Director for the Dude Ranch Program.

What keeps you coming back to Camp One Step?

The kids.  Seeing the smiles on their faces, especially when they push through their comfort zone and get certified for SCUBA, or get up on water skis for the first time.  When they choose their horse for their upcoming ride or realize they are a good enough rider to be able to trot.  Basically, when they find out they can do more than they thought they could.

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

Just being in the woods with the campers, the horses, and the staff. Riding in the quiet, hearing the campers laugh and seeing them smile.

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

Try everything at least once. You don’t realize what you can do, or how fun it is, until you try it.

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

Leave your ego at the door. It’s okay to be a goofball.  Odds are, if you’re having fun, the kids are having fun.  And even if you only volunteer once, it will change your life forever.

What are some of your interests outside of camp?

Swimming, fishing, camping, travel (for fun, not work), and sports.