Kristen started going to Camp Merrywood when she was 11 years old. Now 15, she credits her experiences there as the best of her life.
“From day one it was a caring and welcoming environment,” says Kristen. “The camp is beautiful, and even though I was a little scared at first, I knew that people were there for me.”
Born with cerebral palsy, Kristen uses a wheelchair for mobility. However, at accessible Easter Seals camps, everything is possible.
One of the activities Kristen was most afraid about was whitewater rafting. She had never done it before and was scared to take on the adventure. “But then I tried it, saw how safe it was, how caring the staff was, and I conquered my fear pretty fast.”
For Kristen, and her mother, Peggy, the best part about Camp Merrywood is that it’s a place where she can be herself. “At school only 25% of the kids are like me, but at Camp Merrywood, 100% of the kids are like me,” says Kristen.
Peggy reveals, “Her whole attitude after her first year at camp changed. She returned home with so much more independence and confidence. We owe this to the camp staff, who are there for the kids every step of the way, and make sure that their every need is met.”
It’s because of Easter Seals commitment to kids with physical disabilities, that Kristen was able to make “lifelong friends, and we exchange letters often. Right now, all I am looking forward to is this summer, when I can return to camp and be with my friends.”
Donate to Easter Seals Ontario today and help more kids like Kristen benefit from a fully accessible summer camp experience where they are free to truly BE KIDS!