Jordan McIntire loves watching families smile and laugh together. It’s one of her favorite aspects of her job as the assistant director of military and family programming at Bradford Woods, Indiana University’s outdoor center. Jordan started as a seasonal worker at Bradford Woods and loved it so much that she stayed on in a part-time role and then transitioned into her current position.
“I enjoy providing programming that allows people to have fun, and in that fun experience growth and therapeutic effects,” Jordan shared. “With traditional therapy, people know they are going to be asked to be uncomfortable. Here they are laughing, having fun, creating memories… and it’s also therapeutic. We call it the magic of the woods.”
Jordan works closely with Victory Lane Camp assistant director Tiffanny Youngquist to plan camp sessions for the Victory Lane Camp community. Jordan is the primary contact for VLC at Bradford Woods and is an integral part of all activities.
“Tiffanny and I work very hard so that when families come here, they know what’s going on. We understand issues like food allergies and transporting and we work it out in advance,” Jordan said. “Everything is taken care of for you. You don’t have to worry about anything. It’s great being around people with intentionality, and it’s also just fun.”
The staff at Bradford Woods focuses on empathy, engagement, and empowerment. This philosophy is close to Jordan’s heart.
“These kids can do anything they put their mind to. Allowing them the opportunity to climb the Alpine Tower, go zip lining or ride a horse is just a catalyst for other milestones they can and will accomplish later in life — and what an honor it is to be a part of their journey,” she said.
Jordan especially appreciates the way Victory Lane Camp included her each camp session. Her favorite memory at last summer’s camp session was when she and Tiffanny abandoned their beach day schedule because everyone was having fun. Jordan spent hours giving pontoon boat rides and making waves for everyone in the swimming area.
“The thing about Victory Lane Camp is that when everyone was together, it resembled a big family reunion,” she noted. “I feel like I’m a part of Victory Lane Camp, too.”
Jordan has enjoyed seeing families after camp at activities like the Timmy Takedown wrestling event. As she was entering one of these activities, she heard her name shouted and turned to find the Upchurch family.
“Every time I see people from the Victory Lane Camp community, they are so happy to see me. They are always smiling, and they genuinely care,” she shared. “If I had a child with a disability, I would total trust them with my kid. The staff is genuine, hardworking, and trustworthy. I can’t wait to see everyone this summer!”