In the midst of the hectic holiday season, we wanted to take a minute at Camp Promise and look back at the year we had. We asked one of our first time volunteers, Nick Jacoubs, to tell us about how becoming part of the Camp Promise community impacted him. Check out what he had to say below and we wish all of our Camp Promise family a happy holiday season!
Hello all! For those of you who may not know me, my name is Nick Jacoubs. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been a part of the Jett Foundation team since Fall of 2018. Coming into my role, I had little to no experience with the Muscular Dystrophy (MD) community; I was just a kid out of college with a very expensive degree and wanted to help people. I knew early on I had my work cut out for me. From learning the nuances of the disease, trying to understand the science of the disease, to just learning how to pronounce ‘Duchenne’; the learning curve was steep. But frankly, all the books or articles I could read about MD could not have prepared me for the reality of living with that diagnosis the way that being a counselor at Camp Promise has.
As we quickly approach the new year, I find it really important to reflect on the past year and think about the moments that stand out for bringing joy to your life. For me, I am especially grateful for the experiences I was privileged to be a part of through serving as a counselor at Camp Promise-East, Rockies, and West. It is abundantly clear to me today that those three weeks served as the highlights of my year.
I remember driving to orientation the day before Camp Promise-East petrified of the fact that I would be trusted to care for another human being for a whole week. However, all of those anxieties quickly vanished as soon as I got to meet my cabin and camper that week. I found that our campers at all three camps were the ones who made me feel empowered through their resolve and positive attitudes.
The atmosphere created at Camp Promise is unlike anything I have ever been a part of, and I’ve found it especially difficult to explain to my friends and family. What I will say to describe Camp Promise is there is a sense of community and positive energy in the air and it is contagious. I entered all three weeks with an apprehension of not knowing what to expect and left all three weeks with a full heart and new perspective. Camp Promise forced me far outside of my comfort zone and pushed me to grow as a person. Getting to know our campers, as well as other counselors, took me outside of myself and look at life through perspectives I’ve never considered. It’s hard to come away from such an emotionally visceral experience without feeling humbled, empowered, and reinvigorated.
As I reflect on my year, I look back at my time at camp with gratitude knowing it made me a better man. So to my camp friends and family, let’s all look back on the great memories this last year gave us. Although this past season of camp and the next may both seem far away, let’s embrace the memories we’ve made and the moments to come when we join each other again soon enough this summer.