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Hannah, Special Needs Counsellor

02.02.16

I did 3 summers at a special needs camp called Camp Loyaltown, I initially didn't want to go to a special needs camp at all, but when I was at the recruitment fair, there was something out this camp that I couldn't resist and I went over to talk to them. 

It was the best experience of my life and I'm going back for a 4th summer, this time to a different camp, but still special needs. I can't imagine my summer not at a special needs camp now. 

As for what a typical summer is like, it hard, I'm not going to lie, and it's pretty exhausting but it's so rewarding. You get full training in every aspect of special needs care and you get thrown in at the deep end but that makes it so much better, I think because what some people might have reservations about I.e. Personal care. You really do have no other choice but to just get on and do it, because someone has to and for me and lots of my friends I feel like that helps you get over any fear or anxiety you may have about doing the job.

For me camp consisted of getting up getting ready then getting the campers up and dressed and out for morning line up before breakfast. I myself was programme staff so I worked on our horseback programme. But other staff took the campers round to set schedule programmes I.e. Are and crafts, cooking, ceramics, athletics etc and once a day they went to the pool. Spending all this time with such special people who honestly bring out the best in you is eye opening to not only your own life, but the world around you. I also feel like you are a lot closer with the people you work with because special needs camps are hard work, often not o my are you physically exhausted but emotionally drained too, and you depend on fellow counsellors for support. Although it's tough and tiring these are never aspects you remember when you get home. Sounds cheesy and cliché but it's 100% true.

I have several videos on my YouTube channel about camp life throughout my summer, they're mostly montages though, YouTube.com/Hanhiyaaa 

And I am planning to try and blog my 4th summer.

-Hannah