Saturday, November 6, 2010

Camp Holiday Trails

Today we went to Special Needs Family Day Camp at Camp Holiday Trails. I wasn't sure what to expect...we had looked into other camps around the area over the summer, but the terrain seemed IMPOSSIBLE. I spoke to the guy in charge, and he made sure I knew that this camp would work with Elena. Camp Holiday Trails is a camp for people with special health needs--not just special needs kids. So they know.

Elena was the only kid there with a motor impairment. Well, let me other kid had mild CP, but he could walk and run. All the other children had some sort of behavioral issue (siblings, of which there were a few, not included). I have a hard time believing the ratio I saw today: physical disability (only):behavioral disability was 1:15 or so. The camp invites all special needs kids out for today, and most of the kids were on the autism spectrum. I have a feeling that the autism community is a tighter knit group, so that when there is an event, more of them come? I don't know. I kept thinking, "where are my crutch kids?" or wheelchair-ers...then again, when parents of kids who have gross motor difficulties hear "campground/woods/hills/hiking", they're probably thinking "NO WAY". I wish this wasn't the case.

Anyway, all the kids were pretty good. In the morning, WHEW that room was LOUD! Then the counselors rounded up the kids for art in the downstairs room--so the parents got to be ALONE, with OTHER ADULTS THAT UNDERSTOOD THEIR SITUATION. How nice! It was really great. We all got in a circle and introduced ourselves and our kids. Some parents I thought were going to cry. Others were so happy to be there, to be a strong source for others. It was fantastic, even though it was only for a short while. We also tossed around some questions to the group--what a great source of information!

E and Z playing

The kids came back, we had snack, and then ventured outside for climbing on the rock wall. YUP. A climbing wall. A great activity for building confidence and encouraging other kids--most of the kids really enjoyed it. I spoke to a rockstar of a counselor, Stephen, about the possibility of E going to "climb".

"Of course she can!" he says.

I'm not so sure...I didn't think she would be able to right herself in the harness in free space. Stephen went and got another harness--Elena was the only kid to wear a full-body harness instead of one for just the lower body/groin. She was very excited. I was nervous. I asked Stephen to go with her. He was glad to do so. Super Mike was on belay; I don't think he's really shown in the video, but he certainly got a workout today.

Stephen and Elena are "fist-pump" ready for the climb

Super Mike testing E on belay

I thought she would make it to the first rubber chicken-but she was determined to make it to the top. WHY NOT? YOU GO, DOODLE!!

After that we had lunch, and then more playtime, and then off to the horses. Unfortunately we didn't get to ride--we did do a photo scavenger hunt, which was fantastic--but Viv started melting down before they could ride. We all came home and passed out--every one of us, including me.


Mo said...

We love you, Elena Handy, you rock climber you!!!!! Yes!!!

Amy, how proud was she after that climb?? I wish I could have seen her face.

Love her spirit and will to attempt and do anything... so glad we know her!

Kat said...

Great pics and great vid, Amy! I know a girl who has spastic diplegic CP and does wall and rock climbing. She walks independently though but she's fifteen. If I had the opportunity, I would definitely try wall climbing myself! YOU ROCK, DOODLE!!! ;-)

Sarah said...

How awesome is THAT!

Anonymous said...

that looks like fun! I too have a blog about my life with cerebral palsy linked to in this comment