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Meet Jake: Elevating the Camp Experience as Our New Assistant Program Director!

Camp High Hopes is delighted to introduce Jacob Niemand, our newest addition to the Smile Squad. Jacob, a native of Fairbury, Nebraska, holds a bachelor's degree in human service counseling from Wayne State College. His journey in the camp industry began during the 2019 summer camp season when he joined Camp High Hopes as a sleep-away counselor. Here, Jacob discovered his passion for serving individuals with disabilities and fell in love with the camp's mission.

After his initial season at Camp High Hopes, Jacob extended his talents and dedication to Camp Courageous in Monticello, Iowa, where he served as a Program team member from 2019 to 2023. However, driven by a desire to be closer to his loved ones and seek further growth within the camp industry, Jacob decided to return to Camp High Hopes as the assistant program director. His enthusiasm for returning to the place that ignited his passion for serving individuals with disabilities is palpable.

Jacob is committed to introducing new activities within our organization, including a Science-Technology-Engineering and Math (STEM) program, providing campers with an educational yet enjoyable experience. Furthermore, he aims to collaborate with local Scouts of America troops in the Siouxland area to raise awareness about disabilities among youth, fostering a deeper connection to the camp's mission within the community.

Drawing from his personal experience with Cerebral Palsy, Jacob offers invaluable insights into the direct impact of Camp High Hopes on individuals with disabilities. His journey and dedication exemplify the camp's ethos, demonstrating that disability does not limit one's abilities but instead serves as an avenue to celebrate life. Jacob's vibrant spirit and positive outlook enrich the camp's culture, and his return symbolizes a homecoming to the place where he feels most connected.

We are thrilled to have Jacob back with us at Camp High Hopes; his presence brings smiles all around. Welcome aboard, Jacob! Your dedication and passion are truly inspiring to us all.

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