The American Association is excited to participate in the second annual Malta Camp USA – a week-long summer program for young adults with physical and intellectual disabilities!
Malta Camp USA aims to serve individuals in the 21-40 age group, many of whom have aged out of school-based support systems and no longer are surrounded by peers their own age. Malta Camp fills this gap, providing an opportunity for travel, adventure, and community building among those with and without disabilities. To give you a sense of what Malta Camp is all about, here is a highlight reel from last year’s camp.
This year we’re trying to make Malta Camp USA even bigger and better than last – more than doubling the program’s size to include 25 Guests and 40-50 volunteers. And we need your help!
We have just opened our applications for both Guests and Volunteers to participate in Malta Camp USA 2023, which will run from July 9-13 at Siena College in Loudonville, NY.
Guests – In keeping with the tradition of our Order to serve “our lords, the poor and the sick” and Pope Francis’s call for outreach to the peripheries and marginalized people, we see the disabled participants at Malta Camp USA as our distinguished guests. Guests come for five days of recreation and fellowship, supported and enabled by volunteers of similar age. At this time, we are only able to accommodate guests who are ambulatory and self-sufficient (e.g., able to bathe, dress, and eat independently).
Volunteers – It takes a village to create the magic of Malta Camp, and for that we rely on volunteers. Most volunteers act as Helpers, assigned one-to-one with our guests to accompany them throughout the week and ensure their needs are met. To maintain a peer-like relationship, we aim to recruit Helpers in the same 21-40 age group as our Guests. Staff help throughout the week with logistics, security, media, and other needs to keep camp running smoothly. And our dedicated medical team makes sure everyone stays healthy and happy.
During our week together, guests and volunteers experience new and exciting things (e.g., a dance class with the NYC Ballet, a treetop ropes course, and lots of dance parties!). As equals, we build a community of friends that continues throughout the year and longer term. Through these friendships, Malta Camp USA builds and empowers those with disabilities.
If you would be interested in volunteering at Malta Camp USA or have a guest you think might be a good fit, please visit our website for application information.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
Finally, please pray for the success of Malta Camp USA and for the Guests who will participate in this program! Be assured of our prayers for you, your families, and your Areas of the American Association.