78 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 13 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts    H3'ed 1/5/10

Making A Difference: Part Two - Talking with Eydee Schultz, Executive Director of Camp Care-A-Lot

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joan Brunwasser
Become a Fan
  (89 fans)
Welcome back for the conclusion of my interview with Eydee Schultz, Executive Director of Camp Care-A-Lot. Tell us more about your campers, Eydee.

(Image by Unknown Owner)   Details   DMCA

Of course, the children we serve have many concerns. They may never have been away from home and may be used to taking care of their siblings or family members and are worried about them. At the very first, we tell campers they are full of hope and can help themselves set goals for their futures and can be respectful, responsible, helpful, team players and can build a great attitude.

No matter what most of these campers think of themselves before camp, they learn to raise their self-esteem on their own, because it is expected of them. Adults say, "you can" and children believe it. So, learning this lesson about giving high expectations and opportunities for children to be successful is primary.

And, while the program has changed somewhat over the years, at its core are the same activities and values.

What's surprised you along the way?

The real surprise is that we are still here (it'll be 17 years in March). Five people began with breakfast and a dream of what could be. We just followed our passion and used the skills of many people to create a positive place to teach and nurture kids. And it worked!

(Image by Unknown Owner)   Details   DMCA

So many campers "come back to give back." Here is a wonderful story about the first former camper to come back. He was the oldest camper our first year. About five years after camp began, I received a phone call. The voice on the other end began talking. Finally, realizing I was not sure who he was, he said, "I'm "N.' I remember when I was a camper and counselors all told us that if we were not on drugs, not smoking and if we were passing all our high school subjects and not in a gang, we could come back to be a junior counselor."

This astonished me! And, after I cried a lot, we talked. That began his four-year stint as a Camp Care-A-Lot staff member. Each year, he stood taller and projected his voice more confidently. Though we have since lost contact, I am sure to hear from him again sometime.

The kids and staff remember so much about camp. So many can rattle off the things they did for a week at Camp Care-A-Lot, 8-10 years before like it was yesterday! They remember their cabin name, games we played and, almost all the time, they remember the session on making good choices!

I am bowled over by the number of kids I see as young adults, who have saved their T-shirts with camp logo or photo. They say that camp was an amazing part of their life and that it helped them be a good teen and young adult. The most important thing they say is that they know that we are still there for them -- even years later. Those feelings are wonderful.

There are also a few not-so-happy endings, like campers who have not stayed on the course of life we hoped to set with and for them. Unfortunately, there are a number of kids who barely remember camp. A psychologist once told me that human nature in some kids cause them to push the good out of their mind - or at least shove it to the back of their minds - in order to cope with their present, troubled, daily lives. Once they begin talking about camp with other kids, though, things come back to them and they smile again.

People are inherently good and kind. The number of people who supported us through the years is staggering. Over 1800 individuals have cheered us on and who want to help kids learn the tools to be good community, school and family citizens. I am grateful for the people in the communities we serve, those on grant committees, individuals who support us financially, civic club members and people in fundraising groups, and the local business people who give us the promotional materials, funds and love.

Mostly, I am surprised by the amount of love I have for so many kids who have made a huge difference in my life and the lives of the adults who volunteer for them. The adults have made a huge impact on me as well, teaching me the art of volunteering, although my parents and grandparents began teaching me those things when I was a very
young child.

The "ah ha" moment came immediately as camp began. It is the unconditional love children have for the staff and for each other upon arriving at camp. They have so much love in them to give and they give it generously, as the counselors give it to them. All it needs is a
bit of nurturing!

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Joan Brunwasser Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Interview with Dr. Margaret Flowers, Arrested Tuesday at Senate Roundtable on Health Care

Renowned Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck on "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"

Howard Zinn on "The People Speak," the Supreme Court and Haiti

Snopes confirms danger of Straight Ticket Voting (STV)

Fed Up With Corporate Tax Dodgers? Check Out PayUpNow.org!

Literary Agent Shares Trade Secrets With New Writers

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend