Henry is a young and engaging young man who loves the St. Louis Arc’s R&R Camp program. For eight years, Henry spent several weekends a year participating in a variety of recreational and outdoor camp activities. He participated in arts and crafts, made friends, and enjoyed joking around with the camp counselors. This year, however, when Henry returned to camp, he returned as a volunteer.
At R&R Camp, campers are encouraged to discover their strengths and preferences and work toward achieving a goal. Henry, now a college student at UMSL’s Succeed program, had achieved his previous camp goal of making friends. Not only did Henry make friends while at R&R Camp, but he utilized those skills while at UMSL, easily making friends in the program.
One requirement of the Succeed program is completing volunteer hours. As Henry attended his final weekend at camp, his camp counselor suggested something bold – why didn’t Henry become an Arc volunteer and support others at R&R Camp?
“Henry is high energy and always very positive,” shared Brianne, his former camp counselor. “He loves to dance, make crafts, sing, and really just be the star of the show while also getting other campers and staff involved. He has a way of drawing people in and getting them engaged too.”
Camp not only provides a break for both the campers and their families, but it also provides opportunities for campers, staff, and volunteers to create new relationships. While he is still at the beginning of his volunteer experience, Henry is able to offer peer support and encourage other campers to get out of their shells and make new friends. Henry said, “I like helping the other campers and showing them how to do activities.”
One of Henry’s impacts as a camper and a volunteer has been the suggestion of a group photo during the weekend. Gathering everyone together does more than just create a memory; it also builds community.
Volunteer With the Arc
Henry has joined our amazing Arc volunteers who help make our programs possible. Our volunteers include recent retirees who are looking to stay active, college students exploring potential career paths, families who want to learn more about their communities, and corporate groups giving back to the region. Learn more about the volunteer experience and how you can become a volunteer at the St. Louis Arc.