Friday, July 29, 2011

Over Night Camp

I just returned from a wonderful over night camp for children with special needs. I was in a cabin with six campers and four other volunteers. My cabin was affectionately known as the spina bifida cabin because the majority of ours girls had spina bifida. This is not a diagnosis that I have not had a lot of experience with, so I learned a great deal and dealing with daily living skills is a whole new ballgame. All of our spina bifida girls had to use catheters to toilet. I expected it to all be the same, but they all had different systems and schedules. I knew there were different sizes and locations for catheters, but I didn’t realize that some allowed leakage and others prevented it. I was also learned about some of different variations of spina bifida. One of the campers was able to do short transfers by herself, while another had absolutely no feeling from the waist down. Overall, I was amazed by what they can do and they taught me a lot, but I should not be too surprised because after all they are adults just like me.

A few of the campers had family that coached wheelchair sports. The family came and brought extra chairs for the ambulatory campers and some of the counselors. I got to play and it was probably one of the best activities at camp. It was competitive and tough. It is something they are going to try to bring back next year. Half of my campers regularly play on the team and they say basketball is more fun. I hope I get to try it next year. They play near my parent's home, so I hope to see a game sometime soon.

The camp takes place at a camp owned by another organization that built the camp for children with a variety of challenges. The camp provides counselors to run the different activities, but each individual camp that is hosted that brings their own volunteers to be in the cabins the campers and guide the campers to the different to the different activities. They have banners all over the cafeteria and it was so cool to see the different camps that exist and talk to the counselors that work all the different camps. I discovered that my OT program their camp there. I am so excited. I knew my program had a camp for our summer semester. It counts as our pediatric level I fieldwork . One of the campers this week said he normally attends that camp too. It was a wonderful experience and I wish I had known wonderful camp and could have been working with them for years.

This Monday I move to school so posts will probably be spotty for a while, but how long can it take to unpack a one bedroom apartment. I have a feeling a good deal longer than I will want it to. School is getting closer everyday which is exhilarating and terrifying.

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