Holly and Kiana began working at Clover Patch Camp as Direct Care Counselors. When they arrived at Clover Patch it was a natural fit from the start. Their kind demeanor and ease with the population make them a favorite among the campers. Dedicated and competent staff members like Holly and Kiana make Clover Patch Camp one of the premium summer camps for individuals with disabilities.
Q: What activities do you like best at camp?
Holly: My favorite activities are pool time and campfires. I love pool time because it allows everyone to just be silly, play games, and let off some steam. Even people that choose not to swim have fun playing board games, or singing and dancing out in the pavilion. Campfires are such a good time, because it is a fun way to start and end the week; each person picking a song, and everyone laughing as we do silly dances.
Kiana: My favorite activities are campfires, swimming, and water balloons. I like the campfires because we make wishes and it is always fun to either make up wishes for your fellow counselors if they aren’t around and to hear the wishes of the campers and the staff, especially when the wish is to come back to Clover Patch Camp next year. Swimming is great too, it is such a freeing experience; especially when you can see some of the campers who normally use a wheelchair just relaxing their muscles and sometimes even holding themselves up moving around the pool on their own. And who doesn’t like water balloons on hot days?
Q: What is the worst thing about camp
Holly: My least favorite part about camp is being rained out. It happens a lot unfortunately in the beginning of the summer, and sometimes we’re stuck inside all day. It does force us to get creative about having fun though.
Kiana: The weather at camp can be rough sometimes. The first week is always a bit too cold and rainy for my taste and then by the end we have days that reach 100 degrees and we all need to relocate. But for the most part it is beautiful and we can adapt to any of the strange weather that is bound to happen in upstate NY.
Q: What are your fondest memories of camp?
Holly: I have so many good memories from Clover Patch, and it’s hard to just pick one. It’s a lot of hard work, but also is so much fun that I’m telling stories for months and months after the summer ends. Camp creates this really tight group of coworkers that support each other, and we get very close very fast. One of the best times I can remember would be one night during one of the kid’s sessions when we got the kids to bed too early, and so all of the staff in the cabin got together to entertain the kids until it was late enough for lights out. We got all the kids back out of bed and sang and danced all around the cabin, laughing up a storm. We all had such a good time that night.
Kiana: There are so many wonderful things about camp, and most of them couldn’t be explained unless you were there. The weekly talent shows, different personalities, and living and working with the other counselors, creates a really wonderful bond. You get to meet many people who you would never really have the opportunity to meet in any other way since so many of the counselors are international but working at camp brings everyone so much closer together. Of course I have many favorite memories, and people who I worked with who I will never forget like whenever campers remember you from year to year or one time when a boy who was mostly non-verbal was able to say my name.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Holly: Right now I’m in college, so spare time is hard to find. Most of it is spent reading or hanging out with friends. I find that reading is a good stress reliever and hours can pass without me knowing it! I also try to find something to laugh about every single day, and my friends and I will laugh all day if we can manage it.
Kiana: In my spare time I do a lot of art. I have been oil painting for years, and it is one of my go-to things to do during my down time. This year I have also discovered a new found love for ceramics, so I have a lot of practicing to do. I also do a lot of reading and am very involved in theater (either as an actor, director, dancer or backstage hand) at college.
Q: What’s next?
Holly: For my future, currently I am in school at SUNY Plattsburgh in my junior year for social work. After graduation, I have plans to attend graduate school to receive my Masters degree, and I hope to attend SUNY Albany so I can stay in the area. Off-season, I stay working at the Center for Disability Services as a Relief staff, and it’s something I wish to continue with during my time at Graduate school. After achieving my graduate degree and my social work license, I want to work for an agency in some kind of protective services position.
Kiana: I will receive my bachelor’s degree in Social Work from SUNY Plattsburgh. After that I hope to achieve my Masters in Social Work and graduate from SUNY Albany. I don’t really know what I will do in the Social Work field; all I know is that I am very interested in the work and in helping lots of different people.