Volunteering at Camp Twitch & Shout

Having fun while changing lives in Georgia!

"There is no medication to convince someone they are not alone...that's why we do this."

Jimmy "Shakes"
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Summer camp for children with Tourette Syndrome ages 8 - 17

2018 will be our 10th Anniversary!

Waiting for the week of Camp Twitch & Shout can be like waiting for a holiday...it's that special week that we look forward to all year long. We bring children and teens with Tourette Syndrome together for a week of fun and self-discovery. Our campers are looking for an opportunity to be in a place where they do not need to explain their disorder while experiencing the joys that come from being at summer camp. By joining us as one of our volunteers, you will have an opportunity to learn more about Tourette Syndrome and its associated disorders, develop valuable skills that will help you personally and professionally, and and help us create a heartwarming experience for a group of well-deserving children and teens.


At Camp Twitch & Shout there is a "spirit" that is hard to match. It's a fast paced and exhausting week, but it will also include great opportunities for growth, and most of all...magical moments that will become wonderful memories.


Camp Twitch & Shout is located in Georgia, but volunteers come from all over the country. We accept applications from young adults who have the physical and emotional stamina to be with our campers all week long. Make sure to read the sections below for our "Volunteer Application Information" and the "Counselor Job Description".


This coming summer will be Camp Twitch & Shout's 10th Anniversary, and my 10th year with camp as well. Over the years I've discovered that while your interest in volunteering may initially be to make a difference for these children...the campers will make an impact on your life as well. I am so thankful to have such an amazing group of volunteers returning each year to help make it all happen. You will learn to look beyond Tourette Syndrome to discover their strengths and gifts...and you will forever be thankful that you have had a chance to become a part of the Camp Twitch & Shout family.


We hope you'll join us!

Tricia Kardon, Director

2018 Volunteer Applications Online November 15th!

Go to the link at the bottom of this page starting November 15th, 2017 to access the Volunteer applications through our website on the "Volunteers" page. We will continue to take applications online until January 15th, 2018. The 2018 July dates will be announced by October 2017 as soon as Camp Twin Lakes finalizes their summer calendar.

Katie A.

"I volunteer because I have found such a unique and special family with every member at this camp. And when you find something so unique, so precious, you don't let it go"

Joe

"Camp has a few meanings to me. Understanding is one of them. This summer was my 4th year at Camp Twitch & Shout, and I do not have Tourette's. Each year I continue to listen and learn from my fellow counselors, but I have also learned from the campers as well. Just taking the time to listen to the kids and what they go through means so much to them. It is a relief for them to be around others who take the time to just listen. I love to see how much they grow over the year, and they can't wait to see you and their friends from camp again. It is an amazing place that has had an impact on me more than I could've ever imagined. The smiles that you see from them are contagious. I never thought I could be a role model to kids with a condition that I do not have, but we've found a common thread which is built upon understanding one another. They thank me, and are grateful to me just for taking the time out of my daily life to be with them...but in the end I am thanking them."

Katie

"Being able to volunteer as a counselor at Camp Twitch and Shout has been life changing. My brother has really severe Tourette Syndrome and he has been going to camp for eight years, this camp has saved my brothers life and showed him that he is not alone in this crazy world. In the real world these kids have to hold things back and have a hard time relating to others, but at camp they can relate to so many people. I love volunteering and being able to help these kids make connections with other kids just like them and help show them they are "normal" (as my brother says). Seeing their huge smiles as they go throughout the week and when the kids open up to each other about the struggles they each face is the best feeling ever. Camp is the happiest place on earth and the best week of my year and I look forward to volunteering all year long!"

Zach

"Being able to volunteer at Camp Twitch and Shout has been one of the biggest blessings I've ever had bestowed upon me. It is my favorite week of the entire year, every year. It's a time and place where campers can come and just be kids for 6 days. It's a sad reality that outside of Camp Twitch and Shout, most of these kids are misunderstood, ostracized, and sometimes bullied for having Tourette's. So to be part of a place that lets them tic freely, be understood by all, and just having fun being kids is indescribable. As someone diagnosed with Tourette's, I also find camp therapeutic and freeing that I am surrounded by people that understand me and my condition and don't have to hold things in. In the real world, those with TS feel the need to hide their tics all the time, and it's truly exhausting. At camp we are allowed to be our complete, honest selves. Camp Twitch and Shout is the most exciting, energy filled, happiest place in the world for those 6 days! Don't believe me? Then volunteer to be a counselor next year."

Max

"I volunteer because Camp Twitch & Shout has changed my life in ways I could have never imagined. If I can change one campers life in the way it has changed mine, it will all be worth it. I want to be for these kids the person who I needed when I was younger. Transitioning from Camper to Counselor I am reminded of some of the same struggles I went through at my camper's ages, and seeing people bond over something that is generally a hinderance to them, warms your heart."
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"You have the opportunity to be a part of a child reclaiming and creating themselves. It's emotional, raw, messy bliss. They will change you for good."

Lena
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Volunteer Application Information:

To be considered for a position as a Volunteer with

Camp Twitch & Shout applicants MUST...


* Be a fun, energetic, and positive person who is willing to get a bit messy & very silly!

* Be age 19 or older (at least 1 year out of High School before the start of camp preferred)

* Complete and pass a background check

* Complete and pass reference checks

* Complete a video interview within 2 weeks of applying (or before January 14, 2018)

* Be physically and emotionally capable of supervising campers and participating in all activities with them the entire week of camp.

* Be able to commit to being at Camp Twitch & Shout 24/7 starting with training on the Saturday before the campers arrive at 8am, through Friday the last day of camp at noon. There is a welcome barbecue for all Volunteers the Friday evening before training (2018 July dates for Camp will be released by October 2017 on our website).

* Sleep in the cabins with the campers all week long. Supervision ratio is approximately 2:1 (campers to counselors).

* Arrange and pay for your travel to and from camp. Volunteer food and lodging will be paid for during training and the week of camp. All counselor positions are volunteer.

* Have an interest in working with children with a diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome and the possible associated disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, OCD, social skills struggles (some campers are on the autism spectrum), sensory integration dysfunction, and learning disabilities. While adults from all different fields and expertise are accepted, students and professionals with experience or a focus on education, special education, psychology, nursing, medicine, occupational therapy, health related fields, social work, advocacy, behavior management, recreation therapy, music therapy, art therapy, a service industry, or counseling are encouraged to apply.

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Job Title: Camp Counselor

Reports to: Cabin Leader

Prerequisites: At least 19 years of age, pass a background check, reference checks, and an interview before consideration for this position. It is also preferred that Counselors be at least 1 year out of high school by the time of camp.

Position Purpose: Camp Twitch and Shout Counselors are the primary caregivers for our Campers. They are responsible for the Campers’ health and safety, communication with their Leadership and Support Teams, as well as inspiring personal growth through the 5 core principles of Camp Twitch and Shout.


5 Core Principles

1. Resilience: Instilling the process of adapting well in the face of adversity in order to “bounce back” from difficult experiences.

· Seeks to learn more about possible struggles and comorbid conditions for those individuals with Tourette syndrome through participation in training, ongoing communication, observation, and active listening.

· To foster resilience by being aware of the possible individual challenges of each camper in their care, and to continually provide encouragement and feedback to positively impact their ability to handle those challenges.

2. Independence: Creates an environment that gives our Campers the opportunity to function independently, with the goal to improve their self-esteem through discovering their gifts and strengths. A counselor will encourage them to adopt and reinforce the routines and strategies that will help them develop self-competence through positive, supportive, and empathetic means.

· To continually guide, supervise, and help organize activities related to the campers living in their cabin in order to foster self-competence in meeting their own personal needs and goals at camp.

· Seeks opportunities for Camper’s personal growth and provides positive encouragement and compassionate support for each unique individual’s needs and goals.

3. Friendship: Assists in the development of friendships with others that are kind, and act as a positive influence in their lives.

· Consistently acts as a positive role model for Campers and Volunteers by actively engaging in the spirit, community, and fellowship of all individuals living in your cabin.

· Understands the importance of peer-to-peer relationships/friendships, and seeks to encourage and develop social skills in order to reach this goal with the support of the Leadership and Support Teams as needed.

4. Individuality: Assists campers to discover and embrace their unique qualities and gifts that distinguish them from others.

1. To embrace and respect the individuality and diversity of each camper in your care.

2. To seek opportunities that increase self-esteem and pride of all individuals by continually acknowledging and reinforcing their unique gifts and strengths.

5. Mindfulness: Mindfulness is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feeling, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

1. To gain knowledge of mindfulness practices through the training process, and seek guidance from the Leadership and Support Teams during Camp.

2. To incorporate the tools and strategies learned in training to effectively calm and reassure campers when they are having a difficult time, feeling stressed, or struggling with their symptoms of Tourette Syndrome or associated disorders.


Health and Safety:

To ensure the health and safety of all campers at all times.

1. To see that all campers are properly supervised at all times.

2. To report to your Unit Leader any behavior or activity of a counselor, staff member, Camp Twin Lakes staff member, or camper that is concerning, inappropriate, unkind, insensitive, or aggressive in nature.

3. To recognize and communicate any personal issue or need of yourself to your Unit Leader to ensure your emotional and physical health throughout the week.

4. To make sure you are knowledgeable of any medical needs of the Campers in your care, and access the Medical Team as needed for information, resources, and medical care as needed.

5. To ensure timely medication administration.

6. To ensure proper clothing, sunscreen, bug repellent, fluid hydration, and any environmental needs (heat related, etc…) of yourself and the Campers in your care.

7. To take advantage of scheduled breaks and relief when offered to ensure your personal health.

Communication & Policies:

To read and understand all policies & information listed in the Volunteer Manual.

1. To seek the guidance and support of the Leadership and Support Teams as needed in order to gain knowledge and growth in the role of counselor.

2. To communicate effectively with other volunteers and the Leadership team.

3. To always be aware of, and follow the programming schedule for your cabin to ensure timely participation in all the activities provided.

4. To honestly and effectively contribute to all verbal and written evaluations required.

5. To respond in a timely manner to all communication prior to and during camp.

6. To participate fully in training and camp: All volunteers are required to be on site at Camp Twitch and Shout 24/7 from the beginning of training until dismissal on the last day of camp.

7. To participate fully and enthusiastically in all the activities with the campers.

8. To read and agree to all of the policies and information listed in the Volunteer Manual.

9. To make sure that everyone is having a lot of fun!

Tourette Information Center & Support /Camp Twitch and Shout

A program of the nonprofit corporation the Tourette Information Center & Support, Camp Twitch & Shout is a 1 week overnight camp for children ages 8 to 17 with a confirmed diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome. Located in Winder, GA at Camp Twin Lakes Will-A-Way, the program will be going in to their 10th summer in 2018! Camp Twitch & Shout is an Award Winning American Camp Association Accredited camp...winning both the Regional Edie Klein Program of Excellence, and the National Eleanor P. Eells Program of Excellence Awards.


Camp dates for 2018 will be announced by the end of October 2017.


Donations and communication can be sent to our

MAILING ADDRESS at:

Camp Twitch & Shout/ TICS

2472 Jett Ferry Road, Suite 400-156

Dunwoody, GA 30338