Extra Special Unit Leaders

Extra Special Unit Leaders


By Marcella Genut


The weather is getting warmer, kids are itching for school to end and the desire to go swimming grows. That can only mean one thing… summer camp is approaching! Only 3 weeks until camp is upon us! ESP has been hard at work planning for a fantastic summer. Thanks to our unit leaders, they will lead fun activities for campers all week long. Here’s a chance to get to know them before the summer starts. One thing is for sure, these unit leaders will take care great of ESP campers and they are guaranteed to have a blast!

Vocational Unit

Meet Austin 

Austin is no stranger to ESP camp and has been involved for 3 summers now. Austin studies Homeland Security in Daytona Beach during the school year and will be starting pilot school with the Air Force when he graduates! Campers can look forward to a fun, loving environment and developing close relationships between their buddies. Austin believes it’s important to focus on learning from each other and growing with others. Austin said, “My favorite part about camp is getting the opportunity to work with endless amounts of diversity every single day. No person at camp, counselors and campers alike, are the same. We all come from different backgrounds. We all find joy in different things and face adversity in different ways. In no other place can you learn so much about what it means to be truly happy.” According to Austin, ESP is the most loving and compassionate place you can’t find anywhere else. In his free time, Austin enjoys camping, fishing and solving a Rubik’s cube in under 45 seconds! Be sure to ask Austin to show his Rubik’s cube skills!


Oldest Unit

Meet Claire

Claire has been volunteering at ESP since her freshman year at the University of Georgia and is now a rising senior! She is studying Communication Sciences and Disorders at UGA and dreams of being a speech language pathologist. Campers in her unit can expect to have lots of belly laughs and make strong connections with all other campers and counselors. Claire describes herself as a motivational leader and likes to encourage others to do things they didn’t think would be possible. Her favorite part of camp are the bus rides. Claire said, “The bus is usually full of buzzing energy and silliness or is dead silent with all of the campers sleeping on the way home.” Claire’s favorite memory from summer camp was her first week at Camp Twin Lakes. According to her, there are no words to describe her experience. An interesting fact about Claire is she has lived in 15 different states/countries. At ESP, Claire said, “I am most myself when I am at ESP, I am allowed to be the 100% true me.”

Older Middle Unit

Meet Grant

Grant has been heavily involved with ESP and volunteered at 360, Big Hearts and the Fall Festival since 2015. Grant is a rising sophomore at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega. He is studying Early Childhood Education and Special Education. Austin hopes to become a Special Education teacher for Elementary School. At his unit, campers can look forward to learning valuable skills that will help them in their home life, while still have fun learning them. He is excited for leading lots of singing, dancing, crafts and other activities. Grant is looking forward to making sure everyone is always having a good time. He believes camp is a learning experience and will be open to suggestions and feedback from his unit, but also asks for campers to respect his decisions. At camp, Grant said, ” Everyone at ESP becomes a family for the summer and it’s a blessing to be a part of it.” Grant’s favorite memory from camp is seeing his cabin overcome their fear and complete the rock wall at Camp Twin Lakes. He enjoyed seeing the campers face their fear, encourage each other and having a blast afterwards. I hope Grant’s campers are not squeamish because he is double jointed and can bend his fingers and legs backwards!

Middle Unit

Meet Tyler

Tyler is very familiar with ESP because of his brother, ESP’r Clete. This is Tyler’s third summer with ESP and he is ecstatic about it. Campers in his unit can expect to play the coolest games and crafts. Tyler hopes to have a high energy unit that thrives in organized chaos. His favorite part about camp is how lost he can get in what he’s doing. For example, one minute Tyler will be hanging out with one of his campers and the next thing, the day is over! When describing camp, Tyler said, “It’s amazing to be able to participate in something that is so fun, that it disappears before my eyes.” Like Claire, Tyler’s favorite memory from camp is the bus rides and being able to hang out with the campers. According to Tyler, this is because you can really get to know the personality of the campers by sitting and interacting with them. Tyler said, “For years I have gotten to see the direct benefits of camp through my brother Clete, and I want to be a part of making that magic for other campers.” When not at ESP, Tyler is trying to learn Spanish or care taking for his buddy Ainsworth.

Younger Middle Unit

Meet Taylor

Taylor has been involved with ESP since her second semester of freshman year. She was a volunteer and is now a rising senior. Taylor is majoring in Early Childhood Education at the University of Georgia. Her plan is to get her masters’ in Special Education. Campers can look forward to having lots of fun in her unit! She is planning lots of games, activities and dance parties! She wants to make sure her campers will gain confidence in her unit. She is looking forward to showing campers that they are capable of doing anything. Her favorite part about camp is the field trips. Taylor loves venturing out to new places and experiencing new things. Her favorite memory from camp was Camp Twin Lakes. She loves ESP’s opportunities for participants to be themselves, gain friendships and learn new things. A fun fact about Taylor is her family owns a farm with 38 animals! The animals that can be seen on her farm are mini ponies, donkeys, goats and more! Taylor’s hobby is playing with her dog, Riley.

Youngest Unit

Meet Allison

Allison has done it all at ESP! She has taught 360 classes, jumped at Big Jump, been on summer camp staff and leadership. This will be Allison’s second summer on leadership and she has been involved with ESP since she was a freshman in 2014. Allison just graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelors degree in Special Education and a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences! Way to go Allison! She will be returning to UGA for her masters’ in Special Education. Campers can look forward to a unit full of excitement and energy. Allison cannot wait to spend time outside with her campers. Allison is striving to be a leader that staff can learn on, while being supportive and hands-on. Like Taylor, Allison’s favorite part of camp is field trip week. Her favorite camp memory was exploring UGA with NKA. They got to feast in the dining halls, meet football players and sleep in the dorms! Allison said, “I loved giving the campers a chance to experience life as a UGA student.” Allison is passionate about ESP because of the love she felt. When describing ESP, Allison said, “ESP is an organization I will always be connected to no matter where life takes me. The past few years have giving me amazing memories I will never forget.”
Marcella Genut
About The Author

Marcella Genut

Marcella is ESP's Content Coordinator. She graduated UGA with a bachelor's in Public Relations, a minor in Communication Studies, and a disability certificate. She was a public relations intern for ESP in 2016 and is excited to be back home!

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