Easter Seals camp gives children and youth with physical disabilities the freedom many of us take for granted. For kids like Amy Rybar, who has cerebral palsy, it removes the barriers of her everyday life.
“It gives her freedom, and she gets to feel like a normal kid,” says Amy’s mother, Jennifer. “Last year was her first time at camp. She got to see that she was not alone, that there are kids just like her.”
Because of Amy’s disability, her daily routine is demanding. The time she spends at camp gives her a break but also offers her parents a respite and some time to spend with their youngest daughter, Grace.
“It’s just as important for us as it is for her,” reveals Jennifer.”Amy is the centre of our universe. So when she went away last year it was odd to wake up without her, but it gave me and my husband the chance to interact with Grace one-on-one. “
While at camp Amy gets the chance to be away from home and try exciting activities that she never thought possible; such as white water rafting, swimming, a high ropes course, rock climbing, canoeing — activities that wouldn’t be available to her.
The sense of adventure, belonging and independence that comes from a 10-day experience at Easter Seals camps is priceless.
Jennifer laughs, “As soon as we picked her up [from camp] and drove her home, all she wanted to do was go back.”