Emma and I are still recovering from camp. A volunteer once asked me why do you go to camp if it tires you out? Well over the next few days you will find out. I will download a few pictures and also try to capture in words the spirit and activities of camp that make it such a unique and delightful experience for those of us with MS.
Emma could not have been better so I want to say that tonight. She just was awesome. I will probably repeat that several times in the next days but gosh it is true. She was attentive and so able to handle the various situations. I was so proud of her behavior at all times.
We arrived on MONDAY and it was heart warming. I was in the same cabin as last year, even the same bed!! Our room does not face the lake like others but those have 4-5 bed and adjoin with a sliding door. I guess one year when they had a service dog in one of those rooms it was tough on the dog (at night especially) that various people walk through. Especially at night to use the bathroom etc. We instead have a smaller room with just three people and our own bathroom. The way the walls are in the cabin we have more privacy. We could even chat after others went to bed and not disturb them. Emma didn't mind missing the lake view as most times we went in the bedroom it meant she could sleep.
This time from the moment I set foot on camp my heart was warmed. It is run by Courage Center and called Camp Courage. It is especially designed for use by the disabled. Courage Center at its locations is designed to help with rehabilitation for those who are disabled including but not limited to spinal injuries and other thing. All ages use this camp. It is perfect for the MS camp.
It is located on a lake and on lake side of the camp all cabins I think have a view of the lake. As I even stepped out of the car in the busy parking lot I was greeted with smiles, hugs and warm greetings by staff, volunteers, and campers. What a way to start the week. Our cabin leaders were the same as last year Kathy and Jan and just delightful as ever. They make sure you get settled, get your name tag, schedule and help new and returning campers feel welcome and at ease.
We had a buffet lunch and then time to chat or rest the first day. There was a meeting for all campers discussing safety and rules. After dinner there was a camp fire. We met some campers we did not know in an activity there. Then we each got a coal from the past year fires and toss it in the fire. We celebrated as this was the 30th year of camp. I couldn't even remember how many years I have gone to camp.
Back at the cabin as the sunset on the lake....we reviewed some of the rules for the cabin.. I was able to tell them about rules as far as Emma was concerned. I reminded them she was working when vested and there would be some off duty times in the cabin but to still be respectful. I am happy to report the campers were awesome with Emma. They even asked me when she was off duty if they could pet her. Emma really looks to me to see if it is okay to be petted when vested or not.
We played the dice game where if you get doubles you pick a prize. It was fun because you start stealing gifts from one another in the end phase of the game. IT is often played at showers here, It was a great get acquainted activity.
Then it was time to go to bed - the end of a fun day. Every night Tonya and I chatted like it was a slumber party but we didn't disturb others. They did have one cabin called the Late Night Cabin. That was where people could go who wanted to be up late and there was a coffee shop set up where people could play games. For the first time they also let people indicate on registration if they were late nighters. Those who were sleeping in that cabin all were ones who wanted to be up late and that was a great idea.
I walked Emma before bed near that cabin. I could hear the laughter and giggles. We smelled the fresh air and viewed the starts..then off to bed. Yep two of us in a single bed!! I would get in first and Emma would jump up and snuggle so close with me.
Today and yesterday at home she is snuggling closer to me in bed than normal. We both like it. Our bed queen size seems huge after a week in a single bed...We had such a good time...more later about activities and how it helps me deal with MS.
Emma and I are getting ready for bed. I slept till almost noon today. Later we took a nap. We did go outside and I weeded a bit. It was a good mother's day. Yesterday we went to dinner with some of my children and that was fun.
Have a good day -- Mary and Emma