From Hayes’ Counselor:
“At the start of the summer, Hayes was less than enthusiastic to begin camp. It took much prodding for him to get him on the bus, connect with his peers, and participate in any activities. He even regarded the banana boat ride as ‘lame’! Because of the training and support we received from the National Inclusion Project, we knew to be patient and we continued to shower him with positive encouragement throughout the first week. So we were only somewhat surprised that entering the second week, he was racing up the bus steps without even saying ‘Goodbye’ to whoever was dropping him off in the morning! He was excited to be to at camp, he was connecting with friends, and he even participated in the once called ‘lame’ banana boat ride.
On the last day of camp as he was being picked up at the bus stop, Hayes approached me with a ‘thank you’ card. He then said, “Thanks for putting up with me for the last two weeks, Wildcat.” There are hundreds of campers that have been in and out of the gates this summer, and they all deserve the same chance that was given to Hayes. No one gave up on him and it made all the difference.
The impact a counselor can have on a camper is priceless and that’s what makes this job so rewarding! Thank you for allowing me this opportunity.”
*Names and pictures have been changed for the privacy of the children.