A few months ago, I got asked to work at a camp with special needs kids called ESP. All that was required was a week of volunteering at a day camp. If they liked me, they’d accept me for a week of work at a sleepover camp for $400. $400 for a week?!? heck yea. I was in.
I’m rounding out my volunteer week at ESP and I am exhausted. I even had the higher functioning kids for majority of the camp. But it is so emotionally and mentally draining. I really don’t think I could do 6 straight days (like literally no break from the campers) of this. I would be grumpy and it would be worse for my campers than it would be for me. So, I’m not doing the $400 week.
Don’t get me wrong, these kids have big hearts. They are so sweet and loving. They are really special and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, but extra special people need extra love and unfortunately, my heart can only give so much. I now know for certain that working with kids with special needs is not my forte. I like working with them and I have the ability to do it, but my heart isn’t fully in it. It just doesn’t feel the same as when I do my clinicals at school.
I know I’ll eventually find my niche in music therapy…the place where my skills will help the most. For now, I’m taking a different special needs job closer to home that’s only 3 days a week, for the next 3ish weeks. It pays slightly more by the hour, but there are waaayy less hours than this camp. But that’s ok. I’d rather earn less money and not burn out before I even graduate.
I wanna give my campers/students/clients the amount of love and care they deserve.