All Buddy Camp is a unique volunteer opportunity for rising juniors and seniors attending an Albemarle County or Charlottesville City high school. A Big Buddy at All Buddy Camp is paired with a preschool age student with special needs (Little Buddy) and works cooperatively with our professional program staff. Buddies work one-on-one with each other for the entire week of camp. All Buddy Camp is a tribute to Robin and Mani Aldridge, who were committed to children with disabilities, art, and fun!
The Buddy Program experience often satisfies a student’s community service requirements for graduation. In addition, because of this experience, many Buddies have expressed interest in pursuing a career in a related field, including special education, occupational or speech therapy, art and music therapy, etc., as they enter college.
An application process is required for those interested in becoming a Buddy. Students accepted into the program participate in a mandatory orientation session in order to prepare for the experience.
- Completed application and parent permission
- Rising junior or senior attending an Albemarle County or Charlottesville City high shool
- Desire to work with preschool-age students with disabilities in a fun, structured environment
- Must commit to attending camp at Johnson Elementary School (June 17-21, 2019, from 8:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.) and one orientation/training day (Friday, June 14)
- Two letters of recommendation
- Must be able to provide transportation to and from training and each camp day
- Criminal record/background check (at no cost to the volunteer)
What it takes to be a good Buddy: Patience, laughter, respect, enthusiasm, friendliness, playfulness, and a positive attitude!
For more information about Robin and Mani’s All Buddy Camp, contact Sarah Blech (City of Charlottesville) at (434) 970-3264 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Rachel McLaughlin (Charlottesville High School) at Rachel.McLaughlin@charlottesvilleschools.org.