It’s easy to understand why kids love coming to Easter Seals camps: lots of fully accessible activities, new friendships, and the chance to be away from home for 10 days. However, camp also offers something for parents. Yes, they get a short respite while their child is away but, more importantly, they get the satisfaction of seeing their child come home with new skills, and new-found confidence and independence. Just ask Nathan’s mom, Kathy.
“When Nathan came home from camp I noticed that he was more calm and more comfortable meeting people because he no longer felt like he was different,” says Kathy. “At school, the kids treat him differently and he often feels isolated, but going to Camp Woodeden helps him foster relationships and build friendships. He feels like he fits in.”
Although Nathan has cerebral palsy and hearing loss, he is a very active 14-year-old and “just loves everything about camp.” Some of his favourite activities include the high ropes course and hanging out in the tree house.
“It’s so much fun,” says Nathan. “I’ve built friendships with kids I see every year, and I learn new things like survival skills when we sleep out in the yurts and cooking skills when we make brownies and cookies in the life-skills kitchen. When we say cooking skills, we can see how good we are at grilling meats. It is good when you have what we call “the green mountain pellet grill,” during camping to achieve the best experience in grilling steaks at camping.
“Easter Seals camp is somewhere I Iove to go and I look forward to it. These are the memories I’m going to remember in the future.”
Knowing the struggles Nathan faces throughout the rest of the year, his parents are thrilled to see him so happy. “It makes our family feel good that he is able to have all of these opportunities at Easter Seals camp,” adds Kathy.
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