Have you ever volunteered at a SeriousFun camp? Have you ever volunteered at ALL SeriousFun camps? If you answered yes to that second question, you and Delta Zeta alumna Ashlee Crabill, Theta-Ohio State, have a lot in common!
Ashlee joined Delta Zeta in 2009, where she learned about SeriousFun during philanthropy round of recruitment. She volunteered for the first time at The Painted Turtle (TPT) in California and became passionate about SeriousFun. “I was with the cabin of girls aged 9-11,” remembers Ashlee. “One of my campers said something that stuck with me. She said at camp she doesn’t have to be strong or brave because everyone at camp knows what it’s like [to be her]. She said she has a special comfort here that she doesn’t get outside of camp.” As Ashlee volunteered again at TPT in 2011, 2012 and 2014, she started looking into the other nine SeriousFun camps in the United States. Because of her amazing time at TPT, Ashlee created a goal to volunteer at all the SeriousFun camps. “Being a teacher, I have the luxury of summers off, so I thought it was the perfect long-term goal!” Ashlee explained.
Volunteering at so many camps, Ashlee has unique insight into the effect camp has on the campers, their families and even the staff. “These camps are vital for a holistic type of healing for these incredible campers and their families. Outside of camp, they are often labeled by their illness and told everything they can’t do because of it. However, at camp, there is no such phrase as ‘can’t do.’ Additionally, all camp activities are designed to include every camper, with accommodations and modifications already built-in,” Ashlee shared. “There is no such thing as a sideline at camp unless the camper chooses to sit it out. “Challenge by Choice” is big at camp, encouraging each camper to do what feels comfortable.”