I did not really know what to expect from this summer when I accepted a job at Camp Lee Mar back in January. I had never worked with people with developmental disabilities before and was nervous about what the summer would bring. Now after five weeks here I could not be happier with my decision to spend my summer in the sticks of Pennsylvania.
I work with three other counselors watching over ten amazing girls. They are 13 to 16 years old and come from all different parts of the country and have a range of mental, social, and emotional disabilities. Some have very supportive families and others are not so fortunate. During the year some are in specialized schools and others are mainstreamed. Camp is a great place for them because it is an escape from their normal lives. An escape from the pressures of their teachers, parents, and peers. It is a place were they come to make friends and learn how to be independent. They are not pressured to be anything other than the best version of themselves.
Even in this short amount of time the girl’s abilities to be patient, listen, work together, and solve problems independently have improved greatly. So too I have seen changes in myself. I have learned to be more patient, understanding, and empathetic; working with the girls as well as the other counselors has required lots of cooperation, teamwork, and compromise.
Camp has been a great experience thus far and I look forward to the challenges and rewards of the finals weeks!
— Maggie Flynn, Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences