Wednesday, August 7, 2019

CAMP Camp - a fun experience for those with disabilities and their siblings

It has been  a wild and crazy summer for us.  One full of fun, a bunch of doctors' appointment for me, swimming, and camp.  Last year, Ellie attended an overnight camp for children with special needs.  To say I was anxious was an understatement.  Would she be homesick?  Could they handle her medical issues?  I need not have worried, because last year, when we went to pick her up - the cheeky little monkey ran up to Andrew and I to say "hi" and then promptly told us "bye bye" while running away.  This year, however, I was really looking forward to that week long camp - for both myself (I get a break!) and for Ellie who absolutely loved it last year.

Camp CAMP or Children's Association for Maximum Potential is an organization in Center Point, Texas (near San Antonio) that offers various summer and school-year programs for individuals with disabilities ages 5 - 50 years-old and their siblings.  

I honestly cannot say enough good things about this camp.  Given Ellie's medical conditions and developmental delays, she is not able to attend traditional camp. Camp CAMP has provided her with an amazing camp experience - a place where she can make friends, ride horses, swim, canoe, cook, dance, play sports, and participate in a wide variety of activities.  

hmm. . . I think she has something on her face

Each camp is 1 week long and camp sessions are divided into adults, those with mild intellectual disabilities, medically complex/physical disability/mild ID, and autism.  Ellie was in the medically complex group where she was with kids cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, seizure disorders and other medical conditions.  All of these kids were encouraged to participate in all activities and all activities were adapted for each child.  

I was informed that the ferret was her favorite. 

It was pajama day!
Medical staff are there to meet all medical needs and administer medications, etc.  The staff includes physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, therapists as well as nursing and pharmacy students.  Each camper has at least 1 volunteer assigned to them (some have up to 4 depending on their needs).  The volunteer is with them at all times and will sleep in the climate controlled cabin on the bunk above the camper.  Ellie really connected with her volunteer and I loved knowing that there was someone there to keep her out of trouble! I believe Ellie's session included 98 campers, 150 volunteers, and 40 medical staff (please do not quote me on this as I am trying to remember exactly what they announced at the closing ceremony).  

All ready for the dance.
I have no explanation for the fork.

This year, Ellie absolutely loved swimming. Whether she was in the pool, the splash pad, or tubing - she was quite content to be a mermaid.  Her favorite part of camp was the dance.  She had her hair, nails, and makeup done (and apparently Ellie decided to apply eyeshadow to some of the volunteers) and was decked out in a set of fairy wings.  She also acquired a boyfriend.  Yikes!  She's too young to date!

Ellie was in the girls coyote tribe so they tie-dyed their shirts red and decorated them with puffy paint.

Princess Twinkletoes starts school next Thursday and I think it is perhaps time to get back into a good routine.  I am not looking forward to getting up early again . . . not that The Bear was sleeping in much anyway.  The summer was busy, but I am happy that she got experience overnight camp.  

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic photos! It looks like Ellie had a blast, and it must have been good to have some downtime at home. Good luck with school next week, and hope you can quit seeing the doctor too!


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