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I developed so many amazing friendships that week as a volunteer at at GiGi’s Adventures camp

Here at GiGi’s, through purposeful programs in the playhouse and off site, we are exposing our friends to new experiences that are promoting independence, boosting confidence and encouraging them to believe in themselves! Each summer at our location, we offer GiGi’s Adventures Camp style program. We are gearing up for our 3rd summer, finalizing camp plans and sharing the excitement with our eager participants. Read below what Grace an amazing volunteer shared about her camp experience last summer.

This past summer, I had the remarkable experience of volunteering at GiGi’s adventures, at GiGi’s playhouse in Raleigh. It was such a fun program to be a part of and I looked forward to going everyday!

On the first day we went to Color Me Mine to paint mugs and plates. I became fast friends with Carly and Nichole as we sang Hannah Montana songs in the car, on the way there. Carly painted a plate that she planned on using on her birthday. She told me that every year her family uses a special plate when its someone’s birthday and she wanted to make another one. Later we all ate pizza at Mod pizza, and got to sing the GiGi’s camp songs to the restaurant manager and all of the customers. Matthew and Wesley led us as we sang, “We are from GiGi’s! The mighty mighty GiGi’s!”

Our second day was just as exciting! I had the amazing opportunity to spend time with such an outstanding group of individuals. That day, we went to triangle volleyball and had so much fun. I hung out a lot with megan and wesley. Their perseverance and strength was inspiring. Wesley was killing it on at the volleyball and rocking it out during the dance party with his air guitar playing! Megan is incredibly strong. When we did the floor exercises she mastered every single one.

Our third day was also incredible. I loved being able to make a difference in the lives of these extraordinary people. Today we had an amazing time at the Barbeito’s house learning from Jose about beekeeping. Matthew asked great questions, and we all learned a bunch! Later we went to old mill farm where Lisa and I fed the goats. Steven fed the goats and did an outstanding job! I was extremely impressed with him as it could not have been easy to do with one arm in a cast. Overall it was an amazing experience.

On the fourth day, not only did I get to help these campers be more independent and have fun, but I also got to serve lunch to the men and women who keep us safe. On Thursday we went to the Holly springs fire department and assisted the campers in making lunch for the firefighters. I was in the chicken station with Jamie chatting about our favorite songs and Cinder the dog, who did lots of tricks for us at the station. The two of us had so much fun talking. It was so cool to see jamie really come out of her shell that day. After sharing a meal with all of the fire fighters, we toured the station and the campers got to go inside the firetruck! I think that it was a very amazing experience for them and i’m so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of it.

The last day I was able to help the adults try new things and make new friends. We went to the airport to watch the planes land and then we went to the museum of life and science. I spent a lot of time with Matthew and Carly while at the museum of life and science. Everyone tried something new and some even conquered their fears. It was bittersweet, because we had a blast, but I also had to say goodbye to everyone. I developed so many amazing friendships that week as a volunteer at at adventures camp. I am so glad I came to GiGi’s and I hope to come back next year!

-Grace H.

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