Big Buddy Information

Please check back in early 2020 for more information on Robin & Mani’s 6th Annual All Buddy Camp!

All Buddy Camp is a unique volunteer opportunity for rising juniors and seniors attending an Albemarle County or Charlottesville City High School.  A “buddy” at All Buddy Camp is paired with a preschool age student with special needs and works cooperatively with our professional program staff. Buddies work one-on-one with each other for the entire week of All Buddy Camp.   The camp is a tribute to Robin and Mani Aldridge, who were committed to children with disabilities, art, and fun!

The opportunity the camp provides not only is so wonderful for the Little Buddies, who get to learn and grow in an environment specialized to target their specific needs, but also the Big Buddies. As a Big Buddy I gained greater perspective, appreciation, and knowledge of the special needs community. I hope this amazing program continues to reach and touch people throughout our communities and others.
— 2019 Big Buddy

The Buddy Program experience often satisfies a student’s community service requirements for graduation. In addition, because of this experience, many Buddies have expressed interest in pursuing a career in a related field, including special education, occupational or speech therapy, art and music therapy, etc., as they enter college.

An application process is required for those interested in becoming a Big Buddy. Volunteers who previously served as a Big Buddy during the previous camp may re-apply, however there are limited positions for returning Big Buddies. Students accepted into the program will participate in an all-day mandatory orientation session in order to prepare for the experience. 

Volunteer requirements:

  • Completed application and parent permission

  • Must be a rising junior or senior attending an Albemarle County or Charlottesville City High School

  • Must have a desire to work with preschool age students with disabilities in a fun, structured environment

  • Must be able to commit to attending camp at a local elementary school for one week from 8:15 am - 12:45 pm daily and the orientation on the Friday before camp from 9:00am - 3:00pm

  • Two letters of recommendation

  • Must be able to provide transportation to and from camp training and camp

  • Agree to criminal record/background check/drug screen (at no cost to volunteer)

What it takes to be a good Buddy:

Patience, laughter, respect, enthusiasm, interest in art or music, friendliness, playfulness, and a positive attitude!

For more information about Robin and Mani’s All Buddy Camp contact Sarah Blech at (434) 970-3264 or Blechs@charlottesville.org.

All the information and forms you need as a big buddy at Robin and Mani's All Buddy Camp can be found on this page. If you have any questions please contact Sarah Blech at (434) 970-3264 or Blechs@charlottesville.org.

Big Buddy Application Form
All “Big Buddy” applicants must be rising high school juniors or seniors in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area and be able to provide their own transportation.
Complete either the online application or download a printable version of the form.

Parent Permission Statement Form
Download form

Emergency Contact Form
Download form

Liability Release Form
Download form

Jump Liability Form
Download form

Background Check Release Forms
Please note, parents need to sign and date for a minor.  The forms do not need to be notarized.
City of Charlottesville Specific Authorization Form
Consumer Reports Disclosure Form

Triple C Camp
As part of the training regimen for the All Buddy Camp, you get to participate in Triple C Camp. This camp is designed to empower participants to find their voice, move confidently forward with their beliefs and passions, and make a positive impact through their conduct and endeavors.
Find out what to expect
Download the Year-Round Participant Waiver form
Download the PB&J Participant Waiver form:
Waiver for adult participants (18+ years)
Waiver for minors
Renuncia a menores (Waiver for minors in Spanish)