As an Activities Coordinator at True Friends, creating an environment where campers are challenged to take on the thrill of new adventures and are free to simply be themselves, is part of the job description.
Ean, who has worked at Camp Courage since 2016, has found that these daily moments of impact are special not only for campers – but for the staff members who spend the week with them as well.
Listen to, or watch, Ean describe his experience with the True Friends community since he was a young child in the video below.
“Camp gives me such a reward in seeing people saying ‘No I can’t do that, I can’t go down a zipline. I utilize a wheelchair’ and we’re like ‘Yes you can’,” Ean said. “Just as we’re going through it, I see that they’re a little nervous, but the second I send them down the ropes course they are just so happy and are just loving it. I get such satisfaction out of just giving somebody a new experience.”
Those kinds of experiences are especially meaningful to Ean, who grew up as a camper himself. He attended Hemophilia Camp as a camper at Camp Courage North for nine years.
“I grew up at camp basically,” Ean said with a chuckle. “They helped me through everything in my life.”
Ean said that before attending camp, he didn’t know anyone who had the same condition as him. Camp provided him with a sense of community as he was surrounded by other campers who shared his experiences, and he looked forward to returning to that community every summer.
Ean knew as he got older that he wanted to find a way to give back to campers just like him. He took on the role of Activities Coordinator at Camp Courage eight years ago, and has returned every summer since. Ean spends many of his summer days helping campers through the high ropes course at Camp Courage, and watching them experience those thrilling moments for the first time.
“It’s such a rewarding experience because you get to learn so much about a person in just a week,” Ean said. “You get to learn so much about the world as a whole in our little space because everybody is coming from different backgrounds and different abilities.”
Ean is looking forward to returning to camp once again this summer, and reuniting with staff members and campers who have become lifelong friends.
“You are faced with a life decision when you come to camp because, after that, you’re different,” Ean said. “It changes you as a person, it gives you a new lease on life. You just appreciate everybody, and you learn from everybody. Camp is just an amazing place to be, and it’s given me an opportunity to learn throughout life.”
Learn more about Camp here.