Counselor Stories

luis cropped

When I first entered Amplify Life I was a bit nervous. I didn’t know what to expect and it truly was all new to me. I had all these emotions running through my body, I had butterflies in my stomach, I was getting hot, then getting cold, and I even broke out in a sweat. Once the first camper stepped off that bus my journey began. I had the most amazing time of my life at camp, getting to know all the campers and getting to work with the most amazing people. Every moment was full of joy and suspense as to what was scheduled next…were we going swimming or hiking? Karaoke or archery? Tacos or Lasagna? Every moment was jammed packed with fun and adventure. The campers were the best part of it all! Every single camper had a story, and it was amazing getting to know all of them and watching them shine at camp and doing things that they regularly wouldn’t get to do back at home.

The counselors were some of the most amazing human beings I have ever met. They were kind, passionate about life and just full of excitement that made everyone want to participate. Once it was over it made me want to do it all over again because of all the amazing moments that were made. Looking back I can relate a lot to a camper going to camp for the first time, not sure as to what is going to happen and what would happen, but I can assure anyone, camper or counselor, that camp will change your life. It will change in such a positive way that you will be able to see life different and acknowledge things that you probably wouldn’t in the past. Being able to wake up in the morning and see a family of deer grazing on grass, climbing up the tower and ringing the bell, and laughing with others who want to be at camp is just priceless. If anyone is thinking of joining on as a camper or a counselor I want to say that it will be the BEST decision you will ever make in life and you will not regret it. I wish that every person could get the chance to experience how beautiful camp is and how impacting it is on everyone. So if you are ready to enjoy the wonders of camp come join us at Amplify Life!

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My experience working as a counselor for “Amplify Life: Home of Camp Lotsafun” has taught me more than I could have ever imagined! What started out as a summer job ended up becoming a life changing experience. I have worked at the camp for the past two summers and I plan to work as a counselor again this summer. My time with the campers has made me a stronger and better person. It amazes me that many of the campers have suffered through unimaginable circumstances, but still manage to have a smile on their face. I have bonded with the campers, as well as the other staff members. “Camp” as many people call it, holds a special place in my heart, and it means that for a few weeks during the summer I am surrounded by people, who have taught me the true meaning of beauty and strength.

gabbysmall

Hi, my name is Gabby! I have been a counselor at Amplify Life, Home of Camp Lotsafun since 2011. I have also been going to camp, with my Mother Sandy, the Nurse since I was very young. Each year, I make camp a priority because I know how devoted staff members are and how ready campers are to be at camp. Through making campers feel welcome and having fun in a safe, encouraging atmosphere, I am blessed that I can be a part of that.

Campers always express how excited they are to be at camp, and this makes me that much more thrilled to be there. Camp has enriched my life in many ways. I have seen campers grow up, and become independent well rounded individuals. Campers overcome challenging obstacles, and become stronger, both physically and mentally. Our campers are such awesome role models and an inspiration, that I find myself learning from them, appreciating the experience, and loving campers more with each and every passing year. Camp is an unforgettable experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Camp will continue to be my yearly tradition!

joanna web

Hi, I’m Joanna and I’ve have been a camp counselor for Amplify Life, Home of Camp Lotsafun for four years now. My experience has definitely been a journey, but it was within me that I found patience that I didn’t know I had and love for this population. I remember before I ever went to camp and worked with people with special needs there were times that I would feel uncomfortable and not at ease when I would see someone that didn’t look like the “normal” person. Not because I was afraid but because I didn’t know how to act or what to say. This is where that all changed.

That first day of camp as staff we were all waiting for the buses to arrive. I was so nervous but so excited at the same time. I didn’t previously know any of the counselors or staff. After about three days at camp I started to feel comfortable being around them. Throughout the rest of the first week it got easier and easier to understand the flow and how camp worked. That first week I made friends that live in different states that I still have today.

Nowadays it’s funny. I see camp as a second home. There is no better feeling than when a camper steps off that bus and yells your name because they are excited to see you. There have also been moments where I’ve listened to stories, many from one of my campers, Gail, filled with so much happiness and lightheartedness that you just can’t help but smile. Although, with the good come challenges. Camp will push your limits and because of that, I’ve learned more than I would have ever imagined. Camp is where you get the full picture. You are in charge of your campers welfare, medication schedule, proper food, program activities, and you also get to live with them. You get a dose of what it’s like at home for them.

Camp has most definitely become a vacation or getaway for me. If you have any doubts about becoming a counselor just remember that we all start somewhere and camp is the perfect place to start! You will be amazed how different you look at life after just one week of Camp Lotsafun.

dimitry

My experience with Amplify Life, Home of Camp Lotsafun is incomparable to any other. Having no previous experience helping people with disabilities, I jumped on board with the Lotsafun counselor staff and have rarely missed a camp session since my first. To me, working with the campers brings light to a world most people tend to misunderstand and ignore. These campers are some of the most inspirational people I have ever met! As a counselor, I strive to push them to their limits, letting them safely explore a world they might not be used to. Our campers are able to interact socially, get a feel for what it is like to live independently, and explore nature. Not only do we provide a safe environment for our campers to drop their guard and interact with each other, we provide respite service to the caregivers. Providing this break is just as important to the guardians as it is to the campers. Camp Lotsafun is a great learning community, and I hope to continue to see the inspiring work that it creates!

leslie

Working with Camp Lotsafun was an amazing experience for me. As a first timer, I was immediately accepted by all the campers and soon adapted their sense of excitement for camp. The organization provides an avenue for campers to try new things, feel accepted and independent, and get out of their everyday routines. Those who come back year after year let me know both by words and actions, how important Camp Lotsafun is to them. I also got to see the growth of first time campers who came off the bus more than a little nervous and cried at the end of camp because they didn’t want to leave. It was near impossible not to have fun!