Ability Blog Archives - National Ability Center

Feature Friday: COACH Intern Taylor Geiger

Age: 18

Hometown: Yarmouth, Maine

Years associated with the NAC: 3

 

What is a COACH Intern?

Taylor has participated in camps at the NAC and this summer she came all the way from Maine to participate as a COACH Intern. The COACH Internship Program is a year round, seasonal (9-12 week) program designed to create a structured continuum of growth and learning for young adults with differing abilities to help them transition successfully from school to work. We empower these individuals by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs.

Favorite part about being a COACH Intern?

I love to participate in all of the activities in more of a helper position rather than just being a camper. I’ve been through what these kids have been through and I really enjoy helping them build confidence and working with kids of all abilities.

What is your favorite program to help with?

The Barn, anything in the barn with the horses. I was diagnosed with Autism when I was a baby and started therapeutic riding when I was two. I had to learn how to speak, how to balance and how to coordinate my body movements to ride. It was through my therapeutic riding that I fell in love with horses and riding. I did so well with it that by age four I went to a different barn and started taking riding classes. At age six I could walk and trot. At age nine, I started cantering. At age 10, I leased my own horse and at age 13 we bought my horse, Gus. With Gus I was walking, trotting, cantering AND jumping. I started competing doing jumping and shows. That is what I usually do in the summers, compete in horse shows, but this year I really wanted to come to the NAC and be a COACH intern so I could give back to others.

What will you do when you graduate High School?

I’ll be a senior this year in high school. I want to go to school in Maine and study to become an Occupational Therapist so that I can come back to the NAC and work full time. I want to learn how to help kids even more and help them learn with therapeutic riding like I did. Being able to give back is really important to me.

What is your best advice?

 

“That it’s possible to do anything if you set a goal. It’s hard in the beginning, but the outcome is worth it.”

-Taylor Geiger

We are so grateful to have Taylor assist with all of our programs and camps this summer. Her positive attitude and friendly smile brightens the campus everywhere she goes. She is eager to learn and not afraid to ask questions so she can understand every aspect of the NAC better. Thank you for being such a wonderful part of the National Ability Center Family Taylor!

Learn more about National Ability Center Camps!

 

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Meet Jr. Camp Counselor, Tom Norton

Jr. Camp Counselor - Archery PhotoHailing from the great state of New Jersey, Tom is going to be a Junior Camp Counselor for the first time at the NAC this summer!

Tom has low vision and challenges with depth perception, but that hasn’t stopped him from experiencing all the wonderful activities we offer at the National Ability Center! Tom started skiing at Park City Mountain with the National Ability Center when he was 13 and in the past three years has attended eight camps throughout both summer and winter seasons.

Tom is currently a junior in high school and works at REI, he is looking to apply to college soon and plans to study something involving the outdoors!

This summer, rather than joining in the camps as a camper, Tom will be coming to us as a Junior Camp Counselor. He is very excited to experience camp from a different perspective while also participating in the awesome activities the National Ability Center has to offer.

We asked Tom a few questions to find out exactly why he keeps coming back year after year. Here’s what he had to say:

What is your favorite thing about Utah?

All of the outdoor activities that I am able to do with ease. Everybody is super friendly and accommodating!

What is your favorite thing about the NAC?

My favorite thing about the National Ability Center is that there are so many activities that a person can do, and we accommodate all skill levels and disabilities.

What is your favorite activity at camp?

My favorite activities at summer camp are archery and the challenge course and my favorite activities at winter camp are downhill skiing or rock climbing.

What is your biggest challenge, and how do you do manage this challenge?

My biggest challenge is my low vision but I am pretty good at adapting to my situation and asking for help.

What are you looking forward to most about being a camp counselor?

I want the experience from being a counselor and being able to help people in the camps. I am also still able to do most of the activities that the campers are doing, which is fun. If someone has any trouble with the activities I will most likely be able to help them.

What is the best advice you would give a new camper going away from home for the first time?

Be open to all situations and know that you can always call home. Once you get to camp you most likely won’t think about home that much because there are so many fun activities.

We are greatly looking forward to having Tom at camp assisting with camps as a junior counselor. We know that he will be great addition to the NAC team and be able to really help out those first time campers who are nervous about being away from home.

Learn more about National Ability Center Camps!

 

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Have an experience at the National Ability Center that you’d like to share with our community?

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