Whenever I look back on my time spent with Camp America I can’t help but smile...
Summer camp for me was the most exhilarating, happy, trying, emotional, exciting, fun, rewarding job I’ve ever had; and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
I worked for 4 years at NJY’s Round Lake Camp in Pennsylvania, a Jewish camp for children with Special Needs. I remember when I was first offered the position; I asked if I could confer with my interviewer, ran over to him and asked for his advice. I had hesitations, I’m not Jewish and I had only a little experience with children with Autism. He said, “what have you got to lose” and I knew he was right, I could only gain from this experience, so I accepted.
When I arrived at camp I quickly learnt that nearly everyone was in the same position as me. We had little experience with both working with children with special needs and the Jewish faith, but we were willing and ready to learn. There was never a dull moment at RLC, there was always something going on. I loved working with the children we had at camp, I made the best and most supportive friends I could ever ask for, I relished being outdoors every day and I enjoyed the added cultural bonus of our camps Jewish traditions.
Seeing these children, who face social and behavioural difficulties head on in their day to day life, come to a supportive and inclusive environment at summer camp, watching them grow, learn and make friends is such a rewarding experience.
The positives at camp far outweigh any negatives. I highly recommend this experience to anyone searching for an extraordinary opportunity to expand yourself. I’ve never felt more settled or alive then I have at camp.
Emily - NJY Round Lake Camp (2010-2014)