“I would never want to run a camp for the blind without the counseling assistance she provided. I wish she could be at camp all summer.”
This was the reaction from Charlie Thompson, camp director at Timber Ridge Camp in Spencer, Indiana, when asked about his experience with Shannon Trecartin, an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Andrews University.
Timber Ridge Camp, a partner with National Camps for Blind Children for more than 40 years, was the perfect spot to kick off the dream to develop an internship program for master’s social work students. Trecartin spent that first summer, five years ago, observing and offering counseling assistance to campers and staff as she dreamed about the joint project being formed by Andrews University and Christian Record Services.
In conversations with camp directors from across the country, Christian Record Services president, Diane Thurber, learned that having a trained social worker at camp would greatly benefit the camp staff.
“Each summer some individuals come to camp with many emotions and challenges to work through,” says Thurber. “The trained counselors can be very helpful in defusing situations and helping campers and staff deal with the emotions that come from being away from home in a new setting.”
Although the complexities of COVID slowed the growth of the program, Christian Record Services and Trecartin are excited the get things back on track this summer and plan to support camps again and for many years to come.