Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Roller Coaster of Camp

This week of camp had some up and downs. First, I have to say I had wonderful volunteers. They were always encouraging the kiddos and wanting to have something to do. The downside to camp this year was one of my kiddos was sent home in the first hour because camp was not a good fit, and I had a child miss the last two days because she had a medical test. She told the best stories and had the best attitude. She told me she was determined to come back to camp before she left. The biggest downside was there was a child that was resistant to participating and when he was encouraged to do so he threatened the camp and staff. He became inappropriate and had to be told to stop. I had spoken to his family and the next morning I got a note from his family saying he was spoken to about the behavior, but he was also upset that the staff said they did not believe him. I do not remember that happening and I asked the family if they could give me more details about the incident so I could figure out what was happening, but the family just said they were disappointed because this camp is usually so accepting. That was heartbreaking. It was even worse because we never saw the child again.

There were a lot of upside though that made camp a wonderful experience I want to experience again. I had this one child that was terrified of getting in the pool. She loved to sit on the edge and splash though. We would put her in the pool for five minutes everyday though for the sensory experience. She would constantly say, "Sit, sit" when she was put in the pool. Then I had this great commonsense idea. Have her sit on the stairs inside the pool. She sat there happily. Her family was so proud when they picked her up. There was a child there that I work with at hippotherapy that was in another group at camp. When he saw me a big smile came on his face and he would greet me and tell me stories. I was so excited that he knew me because when he comes in for his sessions he likes to introduce himself and his family and ask me my name. It was good to know that I had made an impression. I also saw some of the kids that I worked with last year at camp. It was impressive to see how much they have grown and improved over the year. I also had a chance to work with some of the older kids which was a new experience. It is harder when I can't physically contain some of the children in difficult experiences. However, the conversations are more engaging. Overall camp was an phenomenal experience and that I want to do again. Seeing the children in tire swings and climbing on tightropes was mind-blowing. I hope me and the kiddos get to do it again.

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