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Jamie - Humans of Camp America


''My name is Jamie McParlin and I have spent two summers as a camp counsellor at a special needs camp called Camp Harmon in Santa Cruz, California. 

I got placed at this camp pretty quickly and easily - once I’d filled out the application form online I had in interview with one of the Camp America interviewers which was very chilled and informal. After this my application form got sent out to loads of different camps and within a few weeks the director of Camp Harmon emailed me offering me a job! Since I was going back to the same camp the second year the process was even quicker. I emailed the director asking for my job back, told Camp America I was going back to the same camp and that was pretty much it!

The relationships you build with the campers and the lessons you learn from them will completely change your perspective on life forever and being a part of making their life that bit less difficult is such a privilege. The friends you find at camp are also friends for life! 

I study medicine so the experience I gained at camp could not be more relevant to my future career as a doctor! Getting experience working with those with special needs is invaluable and it can be quite hard to get the same experience at home. Furthermore, learning how to speak to campers and their relatives about how to best take care of them and learning how to communicate with those who are non-verbal, sets you head and shoulders above your peers when it comes to patient communication skills. I have also got to work with a whole range of people with different and often rare medical conditions and learning how to best approach their unique behaviours and needs is fascinating! 

After working with a lot of people with Autism at camp I have decided I want to specialise in Neurology once I graduate medical school and continue working with this population.''