The role of the volunteer big sibling is an essential component to the Camp Daybreak experience.
Our volunteers come from all over the country – as far as Florida, California, Colorado and beyond – to make a difference in the life of a young person. Our volunteer group is comprised of 40 big siblings (first and second year volunteers) and 20 Counselors (volunteers with 3 or more years of experience).
While our big siblings are responsible for the care of their little sibling, the Counselors are responsible for supporting campers in group settings. This highly structured and individualized support system is unique to most camp settings and offers an opportunity to focus on the strengths and interests of each child who attends.
While supporting young Vermonters is at the core of Camp Daybreak’s mission, we also provide a unique training experience for our volunteers. Prior to the camp session, volunteers are involved in a rigorous orientation that covers topics including presentation of different mental health conditions, developing behavioral interventions, and how experiencing abuse can influence behavior and relationship. For many, this orientation is the first time that they are confronted with these issues. While Camp Daybreak can be challenging, volunteers often describe their experience as life changing and some even pursue careers in mental health or education.
Camp Daybreak creates a sense of community that extends beyond the camp session. Not only are our high school and college-aged volunteers exposed to a group of like-minded peers but they are given the opportunity to contribute to their community. This intensive experience can create lifelong friendships and keep volunteers coming back year after year.
Camp Daybreak is an extraordinary experience for all involved and offers a range of support to the campers, volunteers and families who participate.