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Rachel, Special Needs Counsellor


My Camp America journey began in February 2015. I had my interview and I can honestly say that working at a special needs camp hadn’t really crossed my mind. I’m just your average Sports Science Student who used to train as a swimmer, little did I know that I was soon to become a special needs counsellor.

When I got the offer from my Camp, Albrecht Acres in Iowa I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sceptical. It took me a while to settle in and get into the swing of things but once I did, I promise you that I’ve never felt more at home, my heart felt so fulfilled.

I had a very special moment, which I hold very close to my heart. I  felt a click when one of my campers- who I only had for a weekend- was cradled in my arms in the swimming pool. I looked at him and I realised how vulnerable he was. It was in this moment that I realised it wasn’t just me who was changing his life but in fact he was changing me and in the best way possible.

The past two weeks leading up to this moment had been the most mentally and physically challenging but when I was in the pool with this camper, I can honestly say that it was one of the happiest moments of my life. It was in this moment that I uttered the words “This is why I came to Camp.”

I cant find any words in our language strong enough to convey how precious this experience was. I think that each and every single person I worked with and had the pleasure looking after are diamonds in this world. Through the: good times, bad times, hilarious and emotional times, a massive family and bond has been created which you’ll only truly understand until you have the pleasure of working within the special needs community.