How did you get involved with Camp One Step?
I learned about camp through Volunteermatch.com. I had just graduated from Physician Assistant (PA) school after spending my summer rotating at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Emergency Room. I really wanted to find a local organization to do medical volunteering with kids.
How long have you been involved with our organization?
I started volunteering with Camp One Step in 2015.
What volunteer roles have you held?
I have been a member of the medical team for seven different programs including Summer Camp, Winter Camp, Dude Ranch Program, Sibling Camp, Chicago Day Camp, Brain Tumor Family Camp, and Washington, D.C. Program. In 2020, I helped lead the orientation planning team for Summer Camp Virtual, and also was a group leader for Winter Camp Virtual. I have worked at other camp events including the Team One Step (TOS) Chicago Marathon and Flight. I was a member of the previous Medical Committee and now am a member of the Medical Working Group. My first year as Assistant Program Director for Sibling Camp is summer 2021.
What keeps you coming back to Camp One Step?
These kids are so inspiring. I have loved getting to see them grow up and gain confidence and strength from all they have overcome, and always supporting each other as a community. camp is a family.
During the Washington, D.C. Program, I loved watching the kids advocate for themselves and their friends, sharing very personal stories of fighting cancer with such passion and maturity – there was not a dry eye in the room.
What do you love the most about the program you lead?
Cancer impacts the whole family, and I love that Camp One Step recognizes that through their family programs and Sibling Camp! The bonds these kids make by meeting others who have been through similar circumstances is important so that no one feels alone.
What are some words of wisdom or advice that you would give campers?
Camp is not about cancer, it is about community and friendship. Be open to meeting new people and trying new adventures…you never know where the journey will take you!
What are some words of wisdom or advice that you would give new or interested volunteers?
With technology these days, life moves so fast…camp is about slowing down and building real bonds and friendships, memories that will last a lifetime. These kids will inspire you!
What are some of your interests outside of camp?
I love spending time with my nieces and nephews who I recently moved closer to. I come from a very large, close-knit family. I also love biking, hiking, and am trying to get better at paddle tennis!