Our days at Camp Lee Mar are spent having fun, but also working on independent living skills, self-advocacy and self-confidence.
We work on a sense of belonging, camaraderie and the ability to be a contributing, important member of the Camp Lee Mar community. This assists our campers in building the skills they need to be successful in their home and school communities when they return home.
During the year I proudly wear my Camp Lee Mar T-Shirts and sweatshirts, they are nice and comfy and remind me of all our summer fun! Sometimes they can be a talking point. A parent of a child with special needs might tell me they have a kid that goes to a special needs summer camp or inquire about Camp Lee Mar. I may end up talking with a college student who is in the field and has questions about a summer camp experience. Every now and then someone starts a conversation with . . .
“You work at a special needs summer camp? That’s so . . . cute . . . rewarding . . . nice of you.”
“You must have so much patience, I could never do that.”
There is so much to unpack in these statements, but what I have realized is that usually people who start conversations like these generally don’t have any first-hand experience, or friends with additional needs of any kind. However, it does make for an interesting opening regarding a conversation about our staff, and what personal qualities it takes to make a good Camp Lee Mar staff member.
See at Camp Lee Mar we are not looking for staff who think that a summer position on our team will be “cute” or look good on a resume. We are looking for staff who WANT to be placed at a special needs summer camp. Staff who know that our campers don’t need their sympathy, they need staff to see their full potential and ability.
- Our staff have a genuine interest in children with special needs and wish to help them learn and grow.
- Our staff are able to live in a very structured atmosphere. This provides security for our campers
- Our staff don’t mind long hours, hard work, and have the satisfaction of seeing their hard work payoff with campers when they succeed with new skills.
- Our staff have a desire to grow personally and professionally.
- Our staff love a challenge that will create memories to last a lifetime
Our staff know that a summer at Camp Lee Mar will change their lives too. It will help them become better teachers, therapists and professionals, because they truly understand the effort that goes into helping a child succeed! Every Camp Lee Mar staff member leaves Camp Lee Mar a better version of themselves as they have learned so much from our campers!
Written by Lynsey Trohoske
My name is Lynsey Trohoske, I am the assistant director at Camp Lee Mar. I have three amazing children, my middle child happens to be on the autism spectrum and is a camper at Lee Mar. I joined camp as a counselor in 1998 and loved the campers and their families so much that Camp Lee Mar became my second home!