Occupational Therapy Students Get Hands-On Experience at Camp Discovery

By Jenna Pizzi

Published on June 26, 2018

Camp DiscoveryUSciences Occupational Therapy students got a different type of hands-on experience this summer as they helped to organize and host Camp Discovery, a unique camp offered to women who have had or are currently receiving treatment for cancer.

The camp was held at USciences from Monday, June 18, 2018 through June 22, 2018 in the Athletic Recreation Center, where about 30 women participated in a series of fun activities aimed at helping them regain confidence, learn self-care, and discover hobbies. Students helped to organize each activity and led the clients through them  under the supervision of Colleen Maher, OTD, and Rochelle Mendonca, PhD.

Jordyn Pursel“As occupational therapy students we want to make a difference in peoples’ lives,” said Jordyn Pursel MOT’20. “So, seeing the smiles on these women’s faces and how they are so excited when they walk in the door – that is what is so rewarding for me.”

The camp is a collaboration between USciences professor Dr. Maher and Mendonca at Temple University that has been ongoing for the last several years. The women share the role of camp director. The women are led in crafting and different types of dancing or activities and are also served healthy snacks.

For Darian Morelock MOT’20, who was by her mother’s side when she was battling cancer, it was a natural fit to volunteer for this experience when it came up.

Darian Morelock“It is a great environment,” said Morelock. “These women don’t have needs like our other clients but they are coming together for this positive experience and learning different activities and different positive outlets for them to use when they are going through treatment.”

“They are learning different ways to express themselves and just to have fun,” added Pursel.

Pursel said the camp offers different lessons from those she gets in her clinical experiences in the program. While not in a hospital setting working with individuals recovering from a physical trauma or injury, the emphasis here is on building a client relationship and assessing their abilities and helping them adapt, if necessary.

“It is about how to interact with individuals,” said Pursel. “As occupational therapists we are client centered and our main goal is helping our client know themselves better."

Camp Discovery

Categories: News, Students, Event, Community, Samson College, Department of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy,