I started going as a counselor in 2000 and this was my 14th year in this role. The cabin I was in had four boys, two the same as last year, another camp veteran, and one newcomer. They all were ambulatory for at least short distances and could primarily do their own care. This made for very easy care giving for the 12 other counselors and I.
|Tipsy Counselor watches Campers|
Another cabin had a large inflatable poop emoji as a lawn decoration. One evening, my bunk mate camper, along with two counselors, relocated it to our cabin. It made various visits to each camper for a picture, my wheelchair, and a few other locations before being taped to the cabin's chimney. This prank resulted in many more with a conclusion of one counselor's mattress, and clothing, floating in the pool after the closing ceremony.
Through the years, I love working with the kids and watching some of them grow from one camp to the next. Our new camper this year was unsure about fitting in, but he soon realized he wasn't the only kid with a trach and participated in all the activities. By Thursday, he was rating us close to his visits to 6 Flags and his love of roller coasters.
As much as I enjoy camp, I also see how much work it is for dad and the caregiver I take for nights. They do much more than I can ever give back and I wish I could do more to ease their tasks. All too soon, the week was over and we once again made the eight-hour journey home.
I don't know how long God will bless me with the ability to work at CHAMP Camp, but I cherish the memories from each year. I will see what is brought to the quad life in the next several months and follow the path I'm given.