My first summer at Camp Huntington was 2014; I was just starting at University. I had a passion to work with children on the Autism Spectrum as my cousin had been recently diagnosed. I recall many fond memories from my first summer, the local fire department coming and running through the social hall field covered head to toe in foam with the campers running after me. One of my favorite memories was the first ever prom I experienced, to this day, I still attend the prom with the same camper. I think it’s safe to say that I felt at home, I found my authentic self at Camp Huntington, and it made me realize the value of compassion, care and the importance of having fun!
In 2014 I received the great news that I was accepted onto the BSc Social Work program in Ulster University, Northern Ireland. I graduated in 2017 with a 4.0, and received my grades while I was a Unit Coordinator for B-Unit; later that day, I received a congratulations card which was signed by every camper in B-Unit. It still has pride of place in my house. I continued my employment in Integrated Education working in the Additional Educational Needs Department and I now have the role in the Safeguarding Team.
I have worked at Camp Huntington during the summer season ever since, the Huntington Spirit within me grows year by year. Camp Huntington holds a very special place in my heart; from meeting the new campers and being able to share a summer of fun and meaningful activities, watching new counselors grow strength by strength and exceed their own expectations. I love seeing the faces of returning campers on arrival day. A favorite aspect of Camp for me is that we have 9 weeks to impact an individual’s life, 9 weeks of memories to be made and working on daily living skills; and when that returning camper pulls up and you can see the development, which you know their parents, their teachers, their aids and you have worked on the previous years, there’s no better motivation and inspiration to continue to impact our campers’ lives.
I am very excited about my new role at Camp Huntington as Program Director. Being able to work in a place that I call my second home, with children and adults who with one word or one embrace can make your day means the world to me. I am excited to embark on this new adventure and work alongside you all, parents, professionals, counselors and campers to share the Huntington experience. As Program Director, I am committed to providing both academic and recreational activities for every camper to continue to develop and enjoy. I am passionate about expanding our Young Leaders Program to develop new skills and enrich existing skills for our Young Leaders to enter the work force, be more independent in daily life and expand their experiences.