5 Questions For Doug Sheffield About Volunteering For First Time

Doug Sheffield Camp Blue Skies Ohio volunteerDoug Sheffield and Dick Sesler grew up across the street from each other in Ohio. "Doug is probably my oldest friend," says Dick. And Doug was a fraternity brother of Jon Holcomb’s at Ohio Wesleyan. When Camp Blue Skies offered its first Ohio session in 2014, Doug agreed to help with fundraising and to make connections with the help of a co-worker who has a son with developmental disabilities.

Doug hadn’t planned to volunteer. He didn’t have any experience with adults with developmental disabilities. And he hadn’t grown up going to camp. Doug realized, though, he needed to volunteer. “If I was going to ask people for contributions, I thought I should have first-hand experience.”

Here’s what Doug had to say about being a first-time volunteer in a quick Q&A:

What did you tell coworkers and friends after camp?“ I don't know who had the better experience or learned more, me or the campers.”

A favorite memory? “Watching several campers in my group overcome their fear of heights on the giant swing and listening to others cheer for them to succeed.”

What surprised you the most? “The amount of positive energy sustained for the entire camp. Also the joy the campers exhibited in doing things that I used to take for granted – such as fishing and passing the football – but learned to enjoy again.”

What would you tell someone who hasn’t volunteered with adults with developmental disabilities? “I had no experience working with this population prior to camp and after signing up, I felt very much out of my comfort zone. The staff is very helpful and there to answer questions, and the other volunteers who have experience are a tremendous support.”

What are some other ways you have supported Camp Blue Skies? “It's little, but every bit counts: I have named Camp Blue Skies as my charity on AmazonSmile – so camp gets some benefit from my online purchases. I also participate in Hoops for Camp (Camp Blue Skies' annual NCAA Men's Basketball bracket challenge fundraiser .”

Want to volunteer?

Camp Blue Skies volunteers support all aspects of the camp experience from cabin counselors to program instructors to health services providers. Click here to see the different volunteer roles, expectations and how to sign up.