Today Haley Bach is pursuing a career working with people with disabilities…but that might not have happened if not for an amazing friendship she developed while bunking with Hannah Terle, a camper with autism, the summer she was 10.
It was during one summer at the JCC’s Camp Milldale. After attending camp for years, Haley had developed a core group of camp friends. Hannah was part of the camp’s inclusion program, designed for campers with a wide range of disabilities who join bunks with their typical peers.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Haley recalls. “Hannah comes into our bunk and she wasn’t verbal, she just made noises. Yet, there was something about her. We connected almost immediately on that first day.”
With Haley taking the lead, the bunk befriended Hannah. Hannah loved the water and she often joined the girls in the shallow end of the pool to play. Hannah enjoyed playing in the sandbox, and Haley would spend time with her there. And Hannah had so much fun performing the chicken dance that it soon became a bunk favorite – and the bunk’s entry in Camp Milldale’s talent show. Click to read full article.