Camp New Directions is very near and dear to me. In fact, I cannot imagine a summer without camp! I began as a teen volunteer at the age of 16 after I had seen my older brother come home after camp for several summers. He had a certain energy about him when he came home that I wanted to experience for myself. Little did I know that over 20 years later I would still be at camp each summer! After being a volunteer camp counselor for several years, I moved into a staff position. A few years later, I became the Assistant Director, and I have been the Director of CND since 2009. You may be wondering what makes this camp so special. I'm not sure that I can adequately put it into words. CND has a heartbeat all its own. Its name is not accidental...we show at-risk children a new direction for their lives. I have watched 9-11 year olds learn new skills and gain new confidence in themselves. I have observed 16-21 year olds spend countless hours in training then give 110% of their focus, time, and energy to their campers to give them the most amazing week they could imagine (and in turn, without expecting or asking for it, recieve the best week possible for themselves). I have seen other camp counselors like myself grow into camp staff. I have watched camp staff be inspired by our teen volunteers and campers. I have learned from some of the best camp directors, staff, and counselors who have shaped me into the camp director I am today. I have met former campers years later who still remember camp and the positive impact it had on their lives. I have laughed, shared tears, felt goosebumps and warm fuzzies, witnessed some of the most inspiring moments of my life, and stored libraries of memories all about CND and the people I have shared this experience with. I have become a better person because of my time spent as a camp counselor, staff, and director. CND was the first defining step in the journey to my chosen career path of Licensed Professional Counselor. No...I cannot imagine a summer without camp. Not for myself, not for my staff, not for my teen volunteers, and certainly not for my campers. No amount donated is too small. Any amount you can give will change lives and help us to make CND 2015 a reality!
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