Summer Camp

My 11-year-old niece is at summer camp this week for the first time. Thinking about all the fun times she would have this week brought back a flood of memories from childhood summers spent at camp. I went to two camps every summer from the ages of 9 to 16. There was MDA camp for “Jerry’s Kids” and Lions Camp for Crippled Children. I’m not lying — that’s what they called it back then. That’s OK, unlike others I’m proud to be a cripple or a gimp girl as I often refer to myself on this blog. I learned at an early age that it’s OK to have people feel sorry for you because it makes them do things they might not otherwise do for you. (Wink, wink.) Yes, it’s pathetic isn’t it ? Some girls learn to milk their good looks while others learn to milk the sympathy factor!

I digress… this post is not about sympathy it’s about all the great fun I had at camp! You see summer camp designed for kids with special needs is the best place in the whole world when you are a kid. All the activities that are usually found at summer camp like swimming, horseback riding, archery, crafts, nature lore, etc. are redesigned for those in wheelchairs or on crutches.

You would have thought they gave us energy pills while at summer camp. Being outdoors and able to do all the things we could not do at home gave us so much energy. And the counselors were great to us. I think it was my first or second year at camp that I requested to sleep on the top bunk for one night. So two or three of the counselors hoisted me up to the top bunk. It was fun!

At night we had bonfires with roasted marshmallows and sing-alongs. There was lots of singing at camp. It was a happy place. I’m glad I have those memories. Maybe someday I’ll find an old photograph and post it here.

1 Comment

  1. pj
    Jul 25, 2008

    Yes, Great Memories – both of my own camp experience and yours. Do you remember a very unusual transportation method one year. You may have been the only person in the history of that camp to arrive and depart the way you did.