Former Camper becomes Leader
“My first year at camp was pretty special,” she says today. “For the first time in my life, I got to step in and help other kids if they were having tough issues. This totally put me on the other side of the problems I’d been having. It was a whole new perspective — and it changed my world!”
After that, Shannon went on to high school and then college — while continuing to volunteer at camp for almost another 10 years in a row. “I just wouldn’t have missed it for anything,” she says. “I could see I was helping out and doing some good in a place I really cared about, and I was benefiting personally, too.”
As a young adult, Shannon became a successful Maine school teacher, working with behaviorally challenged middle-school boys. “They were a wild crowd,” she says with a laugh, “but I really loved them and the work” — although on at least one occasion she was injured while breaking up a fight that involved weapons.
“When you’re a grown-up looking back at the struggles that young people have — including the struggles that I used to have,” she says, “you can really see how Camp POSTCARD can change a kid’s life. Words like ‘mentoring’ and ‘kindness’ and ‘quality time’ can sound corny, but they’re not: They’re what young people actually need.”
Today, Shannon has gone back to school, where she’s studying to become a licensed social worker. “My goal,” she explains, “is to work with kids in a group home.”
In 2011, Shannon married and moved with her husband to Missouri. “Missouri’s fine,” says Shannon, “except that it’s flat and landlocked. I grew up in Maine on the ocean, and I sure miss it.”
Her other goal? “To come back to Maine in 2012,” she says, “and volunteer for Camp POSTCARD again!”
Thank you, Shannon, for helping to make our world a better place for kids.