Dear Easter Seals Camps,
Thank you once again for such an amazing 5 days at Camp Merrywood. We love it so much and get such pleasure from watching the boys play, relax and have such fun. Cameron is always excited to be there, he seems to know instinctively it’s for him. He gets so excited to see old friends and meet new ones. I can understand his excitement as I feel it too. He really enjoyed the band this year and dancing. Of course loved all the activities and the fun games.
I like that he really seems to understand some of the traditions that occur each day – raising of the flag, O’ Canada, campfire, Camp Merrywood specific songs. These seem to be embedded into his understanding and he gets excited for them. Cameron has carried some of those traditions through to home. He will not fall asleep until we sing Angels Watching Over Me and the Friends song. It has woven its way into our nighttime routine and it’s a nice way to relax and reflect on the summer and day. We’ve changed the end of the Friends song to “Thanks for the day Cameron!” and he loves that.
Callum is equally excited to go to camp and gets just as much out of it as Cameron. By nature of his disability Cameron garners attention in situations such as these, which can often leave Callum on the sidelines looking in. I really appreciate all the staff who go out of their way to include Callum in camp. It makes him feel so special and just as important as Cameron. From Sarah including him in the story time acting, to Nate trying to involve him in singing, to Chris spending such fun times running, playing, getting messy with shaving cream. Those are such important activities and memories for Callum to have. As always, Callum adores Brent who does so well with him. He makes such an effort to include Callum in the “Sell the Sizzle,” in the evening activities and joining us for meals. We appreciate the effort that counsellors put into creating memories and establishing relationships with our children.
I appreciate spending meals talking to the staff, getting to know them and finding out about all of their adventures. They learn about us and our family and we get to learn about theirs. Stuart enjoys this aspect so much, discovering their interests, what courses they are taking in school and what their goals are. Talking to them gives us such good ideas for our own children. It is so good to be around so many young people that have such good communication skill, leadership skills, and are such nice people.
It is so important for Cameron to be treated as an individual that is included in this setting and for Callum to see how kids with disabilities are included, that there are many families like ours and to see what an amazing job the counsellors are doing with their lives. Such good role models for my kids to see.
And Barb, you are obviously the entire heart and soul of the camp. The camp is so lucky to have you and all your expertise. Everything looks so seamless and smooth. And I know how much work goes on behind the scene to have that show for the campers and families. Your tireless work is certainly noticed.
It is so unique for us to just relax, act silly, have fun and do so many great activities! Thanks for such great opportunity this summer, we loved it!!
All the very best,
Jennifer, Stuart, Cameron and Callum.