Meet The Staff: Sports and Games
Our 2012 Program Staff is in full swing with Camp Seale Harris- Senior Week this week. They have been on site for a week and have undergone extensive training to prepare for this summer. We sat down with our new sports and games director Alex Dumais to see just how he found out about ASCCA.
What’s your name and age and where are you from?
My name is Alex Dumais, I’m 22 years old and I’m originally from Birmingham, AL. I go to the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
How did you find out about Camp ASCCA?
I first found out about Camp ASCCA through Push America, the philanthropy organization that my fraternity supports. I wanted to participate in the camp that was here at ASCCA this past spring break but I couldn’t come because I had to work. A friend of mine came and I also heard about it through some of my Therapeutic Recreation classes.
I came over here and volunteered for the Adventure Skills Workshop for the Shepherd Center a few weekends ago and I ended up working here for the summer.
Explain what Push America is and how you got involved.
Push America is the National philanthropy of my fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi. I have been involved with it since I have been in the fraternity, since fall of 2008, about 4 years. They always sponsor events for Push like “Journey of Hope” which they are doing right now. The guys bike from San Francisco to Washington D.C., all the way across the Nation. That’s cool, but I don’t know that I could get up on a bicycle and ride across the nation.
I’ve always wanted to do something with Push America and I found out they were doing this adventure challenge with an outdoor spin on it. I definitely wanted to participate so I hopped on that. A buddy of mine is doing the challenge with me. We will be sea canoeing and sea kayaking Lake Superior with disabled athletes July 12th-15th. We will each raise a minimum $1,200 and that money goes towards paying for the athletes that will be with us. If we raise over that (I set my goal at $3,500) that money will go towards their travel and my travel in addition to their cost for the weekend.
So that’s how I got involved. The outdoors are kind of my thing, so I’m on the adventure staff here.
Why is it important for parents to involve their children with disabilities or special needs in summer camp like Seale-Harris and ASCCA?
I think it is important to people to involve their children with disabilities or special needs in camps like ASCCA or Seale Harris because this is stuff they don’t normally get to experience. Like the outdoor thing I am doing with Push, I don’t get to go out and Kayak everyday like I would like to.
It is important for them to come out here and do things like the rock wall, tubing, water skiing, all these things because if they can do that it will help them in their everyday life. They can go home knowing “I climbed a rock wall that was 40 or 50 feet up in the air and zip-lined down it.” That is a lot bigger than being able to do your homework or any other problems they might have. I feel like it definitely builds confidence and self-efficacy, for sure.
What to you hope to gain by working here?
First and foremost I definitely hope to gain firsthand experience with different disabilities. Whether it’s Muscular Distrophy or whatever; I’ve even learned more about diabetics this past week than I ever knew before. That will help me out in the long run with my major, being in therapeutic recreation. I definitely need more firsthand experience. I work in a pharmacy down in mobile so I get the medical aspect of it, but I don’t necessarily get first-hand patient experience.
Plus, I am happy that it’s a break from my regular job. I like my other job, but I’ve always wanted to work at a summer camp and this is probably one of my last opportunities. I hope to have fun, get some great experience, and hopefully positively affect someone by the end of the summer.
And finally, now that you’re a part of ASCCA staff, what are you looking forward to most for this summer?
I am looking forward to exposing some of the kids to new sports and games. From what I hear Sports and Games hasn’t done tremendously well in the past—your basic kickball or basketball. I am really looking forward to doing some different things. Like the kids I had last week playing tennis, out of 15 boys and girls only 5 had ever played before.
So that’s what I’m really looking forward to.