Camp I Am Special Staff
An accredited program, Camp I Am Special has certified staff who are trained in safety and security, person-first language, seizure protocol, swimming protocol, adaptive environments, lifting and transferring, positioning, activities of daily living, communication through transitions, music, art and gestures, food safety, Professional Crisis Management, CPR, First Aid, and AED use. Every year all Staff attend a week long pre-camp training.
Our staff is well equipped to serve individuals with autism, epilepsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, quadriplegia, sensory disorders, cerebral palsy, obsessive-compulsive disorder as well as other diagnoses. Our registered nurses are available 24-hours-a-day and can respond to any Camper need including but not limited to, feeding tubes, shunts, catheters, intrathecal baclofen pumps (ITB therapy) and seizures.
Camp I Am Special utilizes college students who have previously served as Camp Buddies or those that possess strong skills from experience at another ACA-accredited camp to be Camp Leaders. These Leaders oversee group activities, guide Buddies in the care of Campers and aid our nursing staff. Many Leaders are studying for careers in medicine, therapy, education or behavioral science. All Leaders are trained and certified in CPR, first aid, use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), lifeguarding and crisis management. They are also required to attend Protecting God's Children, a course mandated by the Diocese of St. Augustine as well as a Level II Background Screening from both the Diocese of St. Augustine and DCF. To best serve our Campers, Leaders are trained in modified communication techniques, sensory processing, meal preparation, transfers, and activity adaptation.
Please take a moment to view our full list of staff members below.
Director of Camp I Am Special
Rebecca Aleman first started with Catholic Charities by volunteering at Camp I Am Special. She became the Director in November of 2010. Rebecca, a registered nurse, holds Bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and in Behavior Psychology and she is certified in Behavior Management and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Rebecca is a proponent of celebrating the “abilities” in disabilities as well as mentoring teen volunteers who will be our future leaders.
Angie holds a bachelor's degree with loads of experience in Occupational Therapy. Through years of ACA camp experiences with her daughters, she holds great respect for the benefits of unplugging and reconnecting to self, others and the environment that happens at Camp. As Camp Manager, Angie oversees ACA accreditation, registration and safe environment requirements as well as supporting Rebecca in program development and implementation. Since joining Catholic Charities in 2015 at Camp I Am Special, her amazement continues at the ways different abilities experience Camp, the sheer joy shared week after week and the immense generosity of all who make Camp possible.
Camp Office Assistant
Pam McMillan has volunteered at Camp in various capacities, helping during summer camp or working in the office since 2013. She has 14 years of experience in analysis, design, development and implementation of software systems while working as a computer programmer/ analyst. She now enjoys working with the entire process that makes Camp work from gathering and processing applications, creating reports, interacting with the families, campers, buddies and staff and documenting the events to gather new ideas for the next year at camp.
Uncle Jim, as he is affectionately known to our Campers, Buddies and Staff holds a Florida certificate as a Food Safety Manager. He has extensive experience in the food service industry as a restaurant owner, operator and supplier. For over twelve years, Jim has handled the food donations and kitchen inventory as well as tirelessly assisted and provided direction for the two weekly Kitchen Directors every session.
17 Camp Leaders, 2 Kitchen Directors, 3 Medical staff,4 Support staff each week.
How to become a Staff Member
Are you interested in becoming a member of the CIAS Seasonal Staff? Do you enjoy bringing joy and happiness to others?
If the answer is yes, please take a moment to complete an application. Note we have two options below. The first is for new applicants, the second is for anyone who has previously worked at CIAS. Applications open on January 28, 2020.