Camp Allen opens 83rd season serving 600 campers with diverse special needs
By KATHY REMILLARD
Special to the Union Leader | June 11. 2013 7:34PM
International camp counselors gear up for a summer of fun at Camp Allen. From left, Stephen Daley, Carla Dullard, Erin Stevenson and Juan Martin. (KATHY REMILLARD PHOTO)
Bedford's Camp Allen kicked off its 82nd season this week and welcomed more than 40 counselors from around the world, including Wales, Spain, Australia, Hungary and Poland.
"Our campers love the whole cultural piece," Constance said. "They love being able to connect with them and learn from them."
But Assistant Director Stephen Daley of Wales, who has come to the camp for the past four years, said counselors get just as much out of the experience as the campers.
"I said I was up for the challenge," Daley said. "I came here, and it changed my life."
"I'll be honest, I was petrified when I started," he said. "But I finally found something I'm proud to be a part of."
Several counselors in a recent interview credited the Camp Allen staff with creating a welcome atmosphere that's created a family of sorts over the years.
For Juan Martin of Spain, meeting new people and making new friends are secondary to his primary reason for being at Camp Allen.
Carla Dullard, who is visiting the U.S. for the first time from Australia, described the camp as nothing short of magical, with a staff that has already begun to form bonds.
For many of the counselors, who end up learning as much as they teach, it promises to be a rewarding summer at Camp Allen.
"I want to hang up my shirt at the end of the season and know that I've made someone happy," said Stevenson. "And I hope to get to do it again next year."