Sunday, November 6, 2011

Camp Holiday Trails Family Day 2011

It's that time of year! We were excited to return to Camp Holiday Trails for (Special Needs) Family Day. CHT is a camp for kids--all kids, especially those with special health needs (and their families). The staff is WONDERFUL, inclusive, encouraging, energetic--it's a great environment. I love the fact that they are never phased by E's motor challenges, and they are always prepared to include her in every activity.

We came last year, but Vivian was too young to enjoy certain activities. This year, she did almost everything Elena did. As usual, E was not jealous, and cheered for her sister. I want Vivian to excel in what she does best, even if it means she does it better than her older sister--such as running, or playing tag, or hitting a baseball. It's tricky to encourage the actions of one child, when those actions accentuate the disability of another child. It's a learning process for all of us.

At camp, this isn't really an issue--everyone cheers for everyone, and it's fantastic. Nothing is competitive. Elena even had some friends there, including one from school, who rides her bus! (ADD PIC POST-PERMISSION)

After introduction and breakfast snack, our first destination was the rock wall. Our favorite counselor Stephen was there! E remembered him from last year the minute I asked her if she wanted to go to CHT Day.

Viv getting ready

Now, she's not so sure. She ended up going up 1/3 of the way, and then telling me she was done.

On belay? Belay ON! On rock? ROCK ON!

Elena trusts Stephen

Proud Climber

After climbing, we played lawn games. The grass isn't even, so that's a challenge--but E did great, and never fell! We played Train Wreck and a few other games. Viv wasn't too interested, so I had to keep her occupied for a lot of the lawn time. E was in very capable hands, and had great fun.

Painting Pumpkins after snack

After lunch, Viv went home for a nap (she was d-o-n-e!) and E and I went down to the fish pond. E's never been on a canoe. She was only a little nervous--mainly b/c she didn't like the fit of the life jacket. Don't we all remember how awful that felt around your neck when we were little?

Before our Canoe fishing excursion

The fish weren't biting.

After that, we went to the art studio for a little while, and then we said our goodbyes. The staff asked me about sending E to camp next summer. Jason and I have been wanting to send E to camp--we even paid for a spot at a different camp (2 years ago), only to arrive to see unmanageable terrain (and no refunds). If I had known about CHT then, I wouldn't have hesitated. We'll be back for sure!

1 comment:

Diane said...

Hi, I am Stephen's mom and he always forwards to me your blogs about Camp Holiday Trails. I have loved watching Brave Elena climb the wall. Thank you for sharing!