Camp counselors and volunteers at Camp Civitan often change career plans to work with children and adults with special needs.
Getting out of the summer heat of Phoenix is a great attraction for many high school and college students. Especially if the job is in the cool summer town of Williams – gateway to the Grand Canyon and home to the Bearizona Wildlife Park. For 50-years, there has been another job attraction that has changed the lives of young adults.
Camp Civitan is a 10-week summer camp for children and adults with special needs. This 15-acre wheelchair accessible facility has changed lives of high school volunteers and college-age staff since 1968. It is not unusual for many of these young adults to have life-changing experiences working with individuals with developmental disabilities.
Each week-long camp session offers special needs campers, some as young as 8 and as old as 65, the opportunity to make new friends, sing, dance, create art projects, do skits, visit the Canyon or Bearizona, and so much more. The experience allows individuals to blossom and grow away from home and family routines offering the most important and much-needed respite time for the families and caregivers at home. Our campers and staff, as well, gain many new life skills which include, self-confidence, and independence. Camp Civitan programs are designed to promote positive, healthy lifestyles while building meaningful and lasting relationships.
Volunteers and camp staff, share the same experiences as the campers and often find themselves looking at their future academic and career choices after a summer at Camp Civitan. “I will never forget my time at Camp Civitan, it has impacted my life forever, I view disabilities in a whole new light, my fears are gone and the friendships I’ve built will last a lifetime, I will be back,” said John, a 15-year-old camp volunteer.
Many volunteers and staff look at social service careers, special education, health care and legal professions, and other pursuits which help individuals and families thrive, many have changed college studies after just one summer! The experiences and the relationships developed with the campers build a higher level of empathy and respect for individuals and families living with special needs.
On average, young college summer staff return to Camp Civitan for four summers, and many work weekends during the entire year. They don’t only return to camp for the fun and relationships with other staff and returning campers, but they these positions are also paid, on average, for the entire summer, 10-week-long sessions will earn about $6,000, not including all meals, lodging, and all the entertainment and fun. There is no better way to spend the summer, and help pay for college, not to mention, will be the most memorable summer you will ever have.
To learn more about Camp Civitan and the volunteer and staff opportunities available, go to www.CivitanFoundationAZ.org. or call 602-953-2944.
About Civitan Foundation, Inc.
Civitan Foundation, Inc., serving more than 1,250 individuals and families, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works to provide our community an accessible, safe and affordable environment while delivering superior life experiences to enhance the quality of life to individuals with developmental disabilities of all ages. Founded in 1968, Civitan is committed to leading Arizona in the provision of unmatched, innovative services to individuals with special needs, becoming the foremost visionary and resource for this valuable community. Civitan’s flagship programs include Camp Civitan, a residential camp experience in Williams, Arizona, and the Civitan Foundation Village, a multi-disciplinary day program and vocational training and employment center with opportunities in digital multimedia productions, visual and performing arts, a culinary institute, and sports and health programs. Civitan also offers respite and recreation programs (RSP), home and community based services (HCBS), and food and nutrition programs. Learn more at www.civitanfoundationaz.com.