Summer at the ‘Sherm : Reflections on a Summer at Sherman Lake YMCA
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What kinds of challenges do summer camp counselors face on a daily basis? Can individuals with disabilities successfully work at camp with campers without disabilities? Can students of psychology benefit from working at camp? What values can everyone take away from a summer camp experience? All of these are questions that many perspective camp staff ask, yet the best tools for tackling them are the experiences of those who have actually been there. Thus, I document some of my experiences as a day camp counselor at Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center in Augusta, Michigan; where I counseled children in grades two through five from the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek Metropolitan Area. I discuss some of the challenges associated with being a counselor with a visual impairment, as well as well as some of the other challenges associated with camp life. I also share some insight into my experience’s possible implications for a possible career in the mental health field, as well as some thoughts regarding the YMCA’s four core values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility. In short, I found that while my disability and other aspects of the job posed significant challenges, the camp experience proved to be quite rewarding with regards to my future career as a psychotherapy and the impact of our HCCR values.
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