GUCI serves as a “home away from home” for our campers, a role which we take seriously. The staff works hard to cultivate a warm, caring community for almost 500 children a summer. Each camper has their own strengths and challenges yet somehow we all come together to create a k’helia k’dosha. In order for this system to work we must understand what each individual brings to the table and how to tailor activities to ensure a summer of happiness and personal growth for all.
As part of staff training, alumnus Pam Schuller spoke about the importance and science of inclusion. She told counselors about how GUCI showed her that her Tourette’s syndrome wasn’t something other’s had to “work around” to hold a program but differences can be celebrated to enhance activities and the summer.
Yesterday, Pam met with Anaf and talked to them about the importance of seeing the value of everyone in their unit, on camp, and in their life. Everyone has qualities that make them unique and special— disabilities and talents and quirks. By acknowledging and embracing their peers Anaf can mold their unit to be even more cohesive and accepting. With the oldest unit modeling inclusivity that celebrates differences, the younger units, who look up to them will follow.