CAP operates two summer camps, Camp Andrew Jackson (AJ) and Camp Shawnee. The camp mission is to provide an affordable summer camp to low-income families who otherwise would not be able to attend. At camp, children ages 6 to 15 receive three meals a day and learn values such as respect and responsibility — all while having the time of their lives!
Volunteers are a vital part of CAP, and it is an amazing triumph when a former participant pays it forward by returning as a volunteer to give back.
Camp AJ has created an exciting new concept, in which their staff members are mentoring their former teen campers. Last fall, Camp AJ began a teen leadership development program that targets former campers ages 15 to 17 who have the potential to become junior counselors and eventually summer camp volunteers (at age 18). The program started with leadership training in the fall, teaching skills such as communication, flexibility, patience, humility and responsibility. Currently, 16 participants have been invited back for one weekend each month to work on projects at camp, including but not limited to installing signs at different camp activity stations, trail upkeep, and signage. They have also taken on the task of building a portable stage that will be used for talent nights. The final event of the program will consist of camp staff assisting potential junior counselors in developing their résumés, and then they will interview candidates for junior counselor positions.
This summer, a representative from the Volunteer Department will meet with the junior counselors to explain the volunteer application process and encourage them to apply to become summer camp counselors when age permits.
Through the junior counselors program, Camp AJ is helping to achieve their Strategic Plan objective of encouraging former participants to volunteer with CAP.