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September 11, 2009

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September 11, 2009

I am a pediatrician who has many special needs patients in my practice. Before my week as a volunteer on an Adam's Camp Mountain Therapy team of 4-8 y. kids w/autism spectrum disorder, I had no idea how much these kids could accomplish in 5 days of integrated therapy. First words, stronger steps, accomplishing life skills - It was truly amazing to see the progress. I learned SO much from therapists, parents and the kids- tips to help me in the office with interactions and exams, parent perspectives and HOPE to pass along to parents in my own practice. I became a member of the Adam's Camp Board after that first summer as a volunteer. Board work has been very rewarding but I still look forward to my summer weeks as a "hands on" volunteer at camp with a new team of kids. This past year it was kids with Down Syndrome - I had a blast! I would highly recommend the camp volunteer experience to any medical provider/provider-to-be seeking an uplifting, hands-on learning opportunity that will positively change the way you approach kids with special needs and their families.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The growth it provides to the individual and the HOPE and SUPPORT it provides to families of special needs children.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Compassionate, hard-working, devoted, excited to work together as a team to meet the child's goals. These were some of the BEST therapists I've ever known.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Create and support other venues to expand or "seed" the program to provide services for an "Adam's Camp experience" in other parts of the country. There are SO MANY kids and families throughout the US who could thrive with an experience like Adam's Camp.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 11, 2009

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August 11, 2009

I volunteered with my sister summer of 2008 since she needed to complete her volunteer hours for high school graduation. At first we were both really nervous about the experience because we weren't sure how we were going to deal with children with disabilities. Neither of us had much experience with working with them in the past, and we didn't want to disappoint the counselors or even the kids themselves. Our fears were quickly averted however, as in the first hour of orientation the head of volunteering gathered all of us together and had us discuss all of our doubts about working here. They made us confident in our abilities and they guided us where we were unsure, assuring us that a support system was in place to help us throughout the week. And it turned out that indeed, there was. Both of the lead counselors with the 10 person cabin that I was assigned were available whenever I needed with not only an answer but suggestions for further improvement of my interaction with the kids. Besides the support, the experience itself was life changing. Working with children with disabilities gave me a new perspective about the disabilities and the people that have them. It is hard for most people to separate the person from the challenges that they were born with, and from Adam's Camp I have realized the importance of seeing through these disabilities and treating every person with respect.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, supportive, very observant with all of the kids' and other volunteers' needs, and most importantly good friends that I intend to continue talking to long afterward.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 11, 2009

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August 11, 2009

Hi - My son has autism and has attended 2 camps when he was quite young. Very well organized, nice people but I think it is VERY expensive for what you get. And if you are expecting this camp to have a major difference in your special needs child's development, you would be better off spending that money on longer term therapy in a home setting. It is just unrealistic to think that an intensive week or two is going to make a big difference. It is a great camp if you are VERY wealthy but overrated in terms of therapeutic outcomes, in my humble opinion. The accommodation at Snow Valley Ranch is also pretty pricey. I think the organizers should focus on helping lower income people rather than just those who can afford luxury therapy.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Nice people

Ways to make it better...

Focus on lower income people. This is 'luxury therapy' for the rich. Like going to a swanky spa for a week.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

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