Did You Book Your Flight to Paradise? Meet Your Pilots and Flight Attendants!

Paradise Service Announcement, AKA a PSA: We have our units and we’re ready to kickstart the summer in style! Our campers will show up on Monday, and be greeted with the loudest cheers and warmest hugs after a year apart. There are a few new programs in store for this year at camp, and we are on cloud nine dreaming about the very first FLAG we get to experience altogether in the amphitheater. 

This group of inspiring leaders show their love for ESP with not only cheers and chants, but also by pouring  their hearts into this camp, organizing activities, creating personalized plans for our campers, and so much more! Their dedication and display of selflessness is serene to witness because they put our campers first, always. 

Introducing our 2021 Summer in Paradise Units:

Atlantis (Youngest Ages 4-8) 

Griffin Rhudy

Griffin was a program leader this past year and he always knows how to hype people up during FLAG. He is a professional skydiver at our annual fundraiser, Big Jump, and loves to see our participants thrive at summer camp. The passion at ESP is everywhere you look, and he claims it is the most important lesson he could ever wish to learn. This is Griffin’s first year on leadership, and the Atlantis unit should be ready to cheer and sing as loud as they can at FLAG because Griffin will be! 

Chloe Wise

This will be Chloe’s 9th summer at ESP, and we love every minute of having her! She knows summer camp better than anyone, so her bright personality and care for our mission will drive us to paradise. Chloe works with participants outside of ESP’s doors because she truly believes that everyone deserves to be celebrated and loved. Her passion is for people of all ages and abilities, and we can’t wait to see what she accomplishes. 

Sharks (Youngest Middle Ages 9-12) 

Addison King

Addison, otherwise known as Addy to our campers, was introduced to ESP by Tyler King, the Development Coordinator and also her older brother. She taught music on Mondays this past fall, and adored every minute of it. Addison was on the green site this past summer at Camp Hooray, and she said her best memory was when her buddy initiated a hug for the first time! She’s excited to be a unit leader for the sharks this Summer in Paradise!

Emma Barton (Bart) 

Emma, also known as Bart at ESP, is thrilled to be on summer staff and is a very familiar face to ESP. She started volunteering in 2018 at Big Hearts and since then, she has held a special place in her heart for our participants. “The bonds that form at summer camp are immeasurable,” says Bart, and she’s right! This is her fourth summer on staff, and she hopes this will not be her last. Her brother, Bradford, is an ESP participant, which inspired her to get involved with people of all abilities! Bart’s brother has been to summer camp and inspires her to love our participants. 

Bikini Bottom (Middle 13-17) 

Mary Lyn Dyer

Mary Lyn started volunteering with the 360 programs in the fall of 2019, and she has been hooked ever since! An important part of being an intern is going with the flow of day to day activities, and Mary Lyn does this well. Her experience in summer camp last year at the yellow site inspired her to become a 360 intern for this past semester, and we are grateful to have her for Summer in Paradise! This will be Mary Lyn’s first year on leadership, but she demonstrates qualities of a leader on a daily basis. She couldn’t be a more driven addition to our team! 

Alex Bruggerman

Alex has really done it all at ESP! From programs intern, to office intern, to now summer staff unit leader. Alex was an intern in the Spring of this year and helped with Volunteer coordinating, but she was an outstanding program intern in the Fall of last year. She claims that the connections she makes at ESP are unlike any other friendships she’s made anywhere else, and it’s the highlight of her week! She graduated from UGA this past fall, and is loving the time she spends now at ESP. Her ability to connect with our participants is seamless, and she always comes to work with a positive attitude and a brilliant work ethic. We are lucky to have her for another summer! 

Pirates (Middle Oldest 18-21) 

Sydney Laughlin

Sydney heard about ESP during her first semester at UGA, and is extremely excited to carry out our mission. Being an intern this past year has taught her the importance of being flexible and going with the flow! For this realization, she decided to take on the unit leader role and we couldn’t be happier for her! 

Kayla Mann

Kayla loved being at Camp Hooray on the green team as a unit specialist this past summer! She developed a passion for working with individuals with disabilities after participating in several programs similar to ESP growing up. This past semester, Kayla taught the cooking class during 360 afternoon programs and always had our participants whipping up something delicious! She’s looking forward to the pure bliss of summer camp this year as she takes on the pirate unit! 

Lifeguards (Oldest 21+) 

Lauren Thiede

Lauren has a long-time connection to ESP and our mission. She has done it all with grace, and she enjoys the little moments created at summer camp. From planning activities, to organizing events, to even teaching part of our summer staff training, there isn’t anything she can’t do! She loves volunteering and coming to events that we put on for our families! Her buddy, Thomas, always loves a good dance party at FLAG, and Lauren is always ready to cheer her buddies on! Hip, hip, hooray for Lauren joining the unit leader crew this summer!

Ryan Evans

Ryan was a program intern this past semester, but after working his first time at summer camp, he fell in love with the staff and participants! He said an important skill she has learned while interning at ESP is a sense of organization. We are ready to watch Ryan grow this summer with his position as a unit leader, and he is counting down the days until the first camper arrives! 

Gena Hill (Adventure Camp)

Gena is a longtime volunteer and intern at ESP, so she loves the opportunity of being full-time summer staff member this year! She is over the moon excited about facilitating Adventure Camp. This year is something new and never seen before, and it will give kids opportunities to experience the great outdoors! From archery, to horseback riding, to even ziplining, Gena can’t wait for our campers to transform. She is thrilled to meet all of the new campers this year, and she’s ready to scream all of their names at the welcome wagon! 

Madison McCrorey (Specialty) 

Madison is the most energetic person when it comes to interacting with our participants, and we admire her passion! She was a program intern this past semester, and really connected with our mission through being there for her buddy when they needed it. She has put in so much hard work to make this summer serene for our campers!

Colin Smith (Specialty)

Colin brings so much energy and youthful magic to the unit leader crew! He is only 19, and somehow manages to plan, create, and intentionally integrate our participants in ways that will blow your minds. He was a part of the blue site last summer along with other staff members, and is now a Specialty team member along with Madison, which essentially means they’re in charge of planning fun activities! We’re thrilled to have him for another summer, especially a Summer in Paradise!