Gaul Dang was a volunteer camp leader at the camp for High Needs Boys in June 2013.
What’s your occupation? Social Worker in inpatient psychiatric unit for adolescents
You were a leader at a recent camp for High Needs boys. Tell us about that. It was exciting to be involved this year! I really enjoyed the camp. It was terrific to be part of something great for kids who have so little, yet are so full of life.
The other camp leaders were a fantastic bunch and I couldn’t imagine a better group of people to be involved. It was refreshing to meet people willing to spend their personal time on a necessary cause.
Any other thoughts about the camp? I think the camp was successful in part because of the model underpinning it. To discipline reluctantly and praise willingly may sound counter intuitive when you have kids with ‘problem’ behaviours but in these group settings, it’s clear that peer influence is more effective than adult direction. And I think the kids appreciated adults being equal with them! It was a whirlwind of a camp, and sad to see that the kids didn’t look forward to returning home; it really underscores the value of the camps and of Make a Difference, in giving opportunity where there otherwise wouldn’t be.
What other things do you do with yourself? I’m usually out taking photos, reading, or spending time outdoors.