Volunteer Spotlight on Jason

Jason McDermott lives in Scotland and works as an educator, delivering wellness and anti-violence programs to at-risk students. He first volunteered at ExCamps in 2016 because he loves kids and loves camp. Tragically, his own mum died the following year, and the courage and bonds he witnessed in our campers and volunteers became a key source of support in his own journey. Read on for an inspiring story of loss, connection and passion.

“One of my fondest memories of camp is my first sharing circle. I remember feeling worried and anxious doing something I’d never done before, however being able to listen and be present for a group of 12 year-old boys as they shared their stories and what brought them to camp, turned out to be one of the most humbling and beautiful moments of my life. That moment would change the trajectory of my life. Seeing these young men showing kindness, empathy and understanding for their bunkmates was extraordinary.

I lost my mum a year later, in 2017. I was able to cope with my loss by remembering the courage and strength those boys had demonstrated the year before. When I’m not at camp, talking about loss and grief can be difficult and challenging, but when I’m at camp I find it a little bit easier. Everyone gets it. Everyone has experienced their own loss. Experience Camps is a family, one that is supportive and kind.

Having the privilege of working at ManEx for the past 3 years has truly changed my life in more ways than one. Camp helped me find a passion for counseling and I am now studying to become a child therapist with a Masters in School Counseling. I wasn’t even sure what a therapist was until I saw them in action at camp!

Experience Camps has helped me find my calling, my way of helping to make the world a better place. It’s hard to find that kind of magic anywhere else.”