When I joined Jameson Camp as Development Director two months ago, I didn’t have a clear picture of what a summer at camp looks like. I never had the opportunity to go to a place like Jameson Camp during my childhood summers in Florida. 

My first week at Jameson Camp, I toured a fraction of the 130-acre campus and tried to imagine what it would look and sounds like with hundreds of kids running, laughing, splashing, and exploring. There was very little in my imagination that could prepare me for what summer at Jameson Camp truly is. As Week 2 wraps up, a few things really stood out to me.

Despite their differences, young people have an uncanny knack for finding ways they are the same.

Seeing campers who have vastly different life experiences coming together every day and making friends with each other gives me so much hope for the future. Our world appears to be so deeply divided but one look at the next generation proves how we are more alike than we are different. 

It’s normal for kids to team up for an energetic game of water balloon tag on a hot day, but what really stands out is seeing how the kids work together through bigger things. I’ve seen them support one another through emotional challenges, which can be something adults struggle to do.


It’s not about getting to the top, it’s about the journey to get there and the support they have along the way.


Our campers have faced a lot of challenges in their short lives. Maybe it’s because of these challenges or in spite of them, but they’ve developed the ability to persevere. Day one, almost every camper is nervous to try something new (like climbing a 40-foot rock wall) but supportive counselors and optimistic new friends celebrate every win along the way. By the end of the week, even the most anxious camper is giving it a shot. It’s not about getting to the top, it’s about the journey to get there and the support they have along the way.

Splashing in the creek comes with the added bonus of finding treasures.

Kids are obsessed with water. And since it’s been nearly 100* outside this week, I can’t blame them! The whole camp buzzes with excited energy when it’s time to change into swimsuits. Campers practically dance across the meadow on their way to the pool. For the ones who chose to explore nature this week, splashing in the creek is a second opportunity to cool off during these scorching hot summer days and comes with the added bonus of finding treasures like clam shells, frogs, and bugs!

Even though I never had these awesome experiences as a kid, I’m so excited to be a part of making them possible for children and teens, especially those with mental, emotional, developmental, and behavioral diagnoses. Jameson Camp supports these young people with a 1:5 counselor-to-camper ratios and by having Behavioral Specialists onsite 24/7.

Jameson Camp is dedicated to relieving the systemic inequities in our community, especially those at the intersection of health and socioeconomics. Every camper’s fees are partially subsidized and Jameson Camp offers camperships for families facing financial barriers. You can help ensure a safe, accepting, and supportive summer for Jameson Camp youth by donating at www.jamesoncamp.org/donate.