"Adios!" from PR Intern Karla Silva
Has it really already been six weeks? This summer flew by but it was such an honor to be a part of the Camp ASCCA summer 2017 family! I have learned so much about other people, my profession, and myself while being here. This has truly been a life changing journey that I am so excited I decided to take on.

As I was driving to Jacksons Gap, Alabama, from Mobile, Alabama, I was scared and nervous for what was going to come from this experience. I did not know anyone other than the people that hired me and was scared that I wouldn't make any friends. Little did I know, some of the most amazing people were waiting to be met at Camp ASCCA. I have become extremely close with people I lived with in Cherokee and my PR co-workers. Everyone at Camp ASCCA is so welcoming and I believe that is why it is such a loved and successful place. 

I was privileged enough to work under someone who has the same career goals as myself, Kasey Langley. As someone who loves doing the public relations and marketing for athletics and companies that benefit people with disabilities, she has definitely taken me under her wing and shown me a different side of the non-profit world.

The transition from being counselor at a similar camp to a public relations intern at Camp ASCCA was both easy and difficult. Both roles play a large part into the success of the camp but their roles are like night and day. For the past four years, I have been the person beside my assigned campers, making sure that they are healthy, clean, and having the time of their lives. I was to go to every activity with my camper, help where needed, and be a best friend. My role was now to capture counselors and campers do what I used to. It was difficult at times to not have the daily one-on-one interactions with campers but it was also amazing to see many campers and counselors' bonds grow throughout the week. It was a different view of camp that I had never gotten before. I was able to capture beautiful moments with my camera and speak about a company that I now love very much throughout each blog that I wrote.

While at camp, I jumped out of my comfort zone several times. I participated with campers on stage during talent shows, I dressed up in ways I wouldn't normally, and I spoke in front of an entire rotary club about my experiences at Camp ASCCA. These experiences helped me grow as a person as I was learning as a professional. 

Although I was usually watching from afar, I was able to create some amazing bonds with campers. I knew several campers throughout the summer from the camp I used to work at and was able to strengthen those bonds as well. The campers are amazing and they continuously told me how amazing the staff was for working at a place like this without realizing we do it because of our love for them. This place would not have been the same without the campers I had the joy and privilege of meeting!

I was able to watch and capture campers try things that they had never done before due to lack of accomodation or because they were scared. During week three, when we had ASCCApaolooza, campers were thrilled to be at their first ever music festival and so was I! I was able to watch campers like Kylee overcome their fears of the zipline and it led me to conquer my fear of heights a week after she did and ride the zipline during my last week at camp.

This experience has truly been life changing and I am so thankful I drove the four hours out of Mobile for it. This place is amazing, the people are amazing, and the things you will experience here are AMAZING. There's nothing like it and it's hard to explain it but somehow I was able to take pictures, record videos, write blogs, and speak in front of poeple in order to help people "get it."

I will now go home to prepare for my last semester of college and graduate in December. I'm unsure of what the future will hold for me, but because of what I have gained at Camp ASCCA, I am going to face it head-on. Feel free to keep up with my journey through my social media profiles-- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. I hope to be back at Camp ASCCA soon! 

Karla Silva, PR
Camp ASCCA 2017