Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Camp Bumbleberry

As Summer inches closer, I can't help but get excited by the thoughts of warm weather activities and outdoor adventures. For our family, a highlight of our Summers has been taking Brennen to Easter Seals Family Camp: Camp Bumbleberry!

I love everything about Summer Camp - the camp shirts, the camaraderie, the sunburn, the mosquito bites. Every year for seven consecutive years, we would fill the car with gear (blankets and sleeping bags, extra clothes, towels, flashlight, camera, medicine, feeding supplies, sunscreen, wheelchair, tumble form, kitchen sink...) and drive forty minutes out the highway to the Lavrock facility on the Salmonier Line.

"Summer Camp at Easter Seals is an amazing experience for campers with disabilities. Our camp is open to people with any disability, and we have a camp for people of any age. Camp is offered in both an overnight and day camp setting. Campers are encouraged to try new experiences, build self confidence and increase personal independence in a safe and secure setting. Lifelong friendships are formed and time spent among their peers is invaluable. Campers enjoy a wide variety of activities meeting a diverse level of interests and abilities. Programs are adapted as needed and include archery, canoeing, roller sledge hockey, wheelchair basketball, arts and crafts, campfires, evening socials, and many more."

Our camp experiences have become some of our greatest Summer memories. I first discovered 'spider wieners' at Easter Seals camp! I love sitting around a campfire, the air thick with campfire smoke, and roasting marshmallows into crisp perfection. I love the sing-a-longs, and the silly stories. I love connecting with families, meeting new people and reuniting with old friends.

Easter Seals Family Camp, for us, has been a welcome getaway from our everyday routines. It is a much-needed weekend away - together as a family, but away from the structure and routine and appointments and planning and the isolation we can often feel as a family raising a child with special needs.

Joining other families and connecting with other parents of children with disabilities is so important, and watching your child make friends and participate in activities that are tailored to their ability is a beautiful thing.

Camping with Easter Seals is a fabulous experience! It is fun and relaxing, exciting and exhausting.. and like most summer camps, it is totally worth the mosquito bites!

Go HERE to learn more about Easter Seals camps!

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