The kids and I wrapped up our Camp No Limits experience yesterday. This is the first time I’ve been able to get onto my computer since then. It was the first time the camp came to Missouri – so it was very small. But there are also camps in Maine, Florida and Idaho this year. Most years there’s also a camp in California.
This was the first time my kids had a chance to go to a “sleepover camp.” I was with them the whole time. I have to say four days and three nights is certainly enough for a mom with a three year old and a seven year old. I’m pooped. The kids are pooped too… But they loved it.
Jordan had a chance to meet more people with limb differences – including one girl who is RBE (right below elbow). We had a six-year-old who is RBK (right below knee) and a girl who is also RBK. The kids’ camp counselor also uses a prosthetic leg… One he built himself through his prosthetic practice in California. How cool is that? Jordan loved everyone… but I think it was extra cool to see her connect with an older kids who is like her. I realize it was probably cooler to me than it was to Jordan since a missing arm is no big deal and it never was for her. But in the long term, I think it’s great she gets to meet so many cool people who have similar differences. Check out this awesome little arm bump between the two girls:
Anyway… Jordan had a chance to learn a bit about Pilates. The idea is to work on building her core muscles so the ones she is missing doesn’t cause a lot of long term damage. Jordan wasn’t too into Pilates when I was around, but she warmed up to it when I didn’t attend the sessions. The one thing Jordan really got good at was riding her bike with her bike arm! We’re about to visit her prosthetist in Chicago to help make it easier to turn left (since it can be tricky without an elbow) — I’d have to say the enhancement of her prosthetic is less important after this week. Jordan can do a really great job! (Notice in the video below, she won’t even let me help her get a push start to get her moving. Dang she’s independent.)
The larger camps have sibling support sessions – but Cam and the other siblings got to hang out and have fun together in a less structured setting during this smaller camp. I’m certainly hoping to see this camp grow so we can do even more support and therapeutic sessions. The ultimate Camp No Limits is in Maine. It started with four families and has 27 so far this year. That’s pretty awesome. I saw pictures and some videos of the kids that take part in that camp. I’d love to be there some time.
In the meantime, we tried to boost this local camp. One of the local TV stations came to interview the organizers and get video of the kids being super cute. I have to say the camp environment was PERFECT for Jordan to work on using her bike hand and ride her bike all over the place. It was also a great way for both kids to just enjoy being outside in a pretty safe environment. Our camp had the Babler State Park group campground to ourselves. It was a great facility and SO accessible. Not to mention, the weather cooperated and gave us warm days but cool nights.
I have a silly number of photos… But my favorite are of Jordan riding her bike with pride, Cameron having fun in the pool and my little interview I held with the kids at the end of camp to see what they liked best.
If you’re interested in Camp No Limits, feel free to visit http://www.nolimitsfoundation.org. Heck, if you’re interested in donations, it would be great to get more funding for the Missouri camp so we can promote it more, recruit more families and make this into a really big deal next year.
Here’s a quick video that gives you a chance to see what the kids thought about their camp experience: