Reminiscing about SUMMA CAMP!

26 May

I was laying in bed trying to get some sleep, but my mind kept wondering back to Black Mountain, NC.  For the past two summers, I have given up air conditioning, television (for the most part), and a stable internet connection in trade for the best two summers I could have ever imagined.  Two summers where I was working from 8 am to after 9 pm almost every day, where I had to tread water in a freezing pool 3 times a day, where I learned what it was that I loved to do.

This year, summer school is replacing summer camp.  I didn’t know how much I would miss it.  My heart is aching to get on the road, drive to Camp Lakey Gap, and never leave.  I’m aching to see the smiles on the campers’ faces as they arrive and wait to check in, well, most of them are probably wandering around and trying to adjust to this new environment where they will be for a week, a huge transition that doesn’t come easy for most of our campers. I’m aching to hold my sweet babies in the pool as they learn to trust me, to see the changes in our campers as they get to spend one week without the stigma of autism labeling as “outsiders”, but are accepted and loved and cherished for every little thing that makes them unique. Don’t speak? That’s okay, the “normal” world is too loud anyway.  Need a schedule? Good. So do we.  Like the pool? We’ll be there so much we’ll have permanent wrinkles on our hands so when we sing “the prune song” we have fingers to match.  Like silly songs? We love them. 

I’m coming to accept that the summer camp counselor phase of my life is over.  Time to be a big girl.  Finish grad school. Get a full time job.  Blah blah blah.  But I know something for sure, Camp Lakey Gap changed my life.  It’s where I knew what it meant to be passionate about something.  Autism.  It’s where I realized I was stronger than I thought.  It’s where those campers changed my life, my perspective, and took over my heart.  Words will never do justice to describe just how much I am forever changed and just how much I owe to Camp Lakey Gap, for children with autism.  All I can say is Fluffy Happy Love Camp.

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