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Seven years ago Anka embarked on an unexpected journey that would redefine her summers, friendships, and perspective on life. As she celebrates this milestone with SOAR, a renowned summer camp for kids with ADHD, it’s hard to believe how a spontaneous late-night Google search led her to an experience that changed her life.

The Late-Night Discovery: Unlocking the World of ADHD Camps

In 2017, craving a break from routine, Anka stumbled upon the idea of spending a summer working with kids with ADHD. A Google search for “Summer Camp ADHD” brought her to SOAR, its bright letters promising adventure and purpose. Despite doubts about qualifications and experience, within minutes, she found herself filling out a job application.

The Interview Gamble: Passion Over Qualifications

Shortly after applying, Anka received an interview request. The excitement of the opportunity overshadowed uncertainties. When they offered her the job, a mix of exhilaration and nervousness flooded over her. Did she really just sign up for three months of living in a tent? Despite her lack of camping experience, Anka’s passion for working with the ADHD demographic set her apart in the interview.

Meeting "My People": Building Bonds at ADHD Camp

Packing became a puzzle of bug sprays and essentials for three months of camp life. The nervousness peaked when her car broke down on the first day, and her dad had to drive her to Balsam Base, setting the stage for an unforgettable summer. The initial week of training introduced Anka to a group of people who would become her closest friends. Seven years later, these individuals are not just friends; they are family. The relationships built during that first week laid the foundation for an experience that would prove to be life-changing.

The bond formed during training set the stage for the real deal: meeting the kids Anka would spend every day with for the next three months. The mix of excitement and responsibility hit her when she realized she was in charge of these children. Yet, as they navigated the activities and challenges together, a unique camaraderie developed.

Summer Sessions: A Rollercoaster of Emotions at our ADHD Summer Camp

Each summer session brought new groups of kids, each with its unique dynamics. From initial uncertainty to tearful goodbyes, Anka found herself completely immersed in the experience. The exhaustion and overwhelming sense of accomplishment at the end of each summer reinforced her commitment.

A Continuous Journey: From Summer Job to Lifelong Commitment

What was initially intended as a one-summer adventure turned into a lifelong commitment. The initial eight-day break after the first summer only fueled Anka’s desire to return. SOAR became more than a summer job; it became a way of life. Now, working at SOAR full time, Anka reflects on how this experience has transformed her. The shared experiences at camp create an unbreakable bond with fellow staff members, forming a community that extends beyond the summer months. As an educator and, more importantly, as a human being, SOAR has shaped Anka in ways she couldn’t have imagined. In retrospect, that late-night Google search marked the beginning of Anka’s incredible journey. From questioning her qualifications to becoming a full-time member of the SOAR family, the past year has been a rollercoaster of growth, friendship, and self-discovery. As she celebrates her one-year anniversary, Anka looks forward to the countless adventures and lessons yet to come in this extraordinary chapter of her life.

Want to create your community at SOAR? Join our summer staff! We are looking for individuals who are passionate about working with youth and young adults with ADHD in an outdoor adventure setting.