Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Memories From MS Resort (Camp) 2011
This is a photo of my granddaughter riding with a volunteer affectionately nicknamed "Sunny"!! Sunny has a busy life with her children but comes every year to camp. I think she has helped over 12 years. Yes I think I have gone there 12 years. Amazing.
This was taken as we arrived. My smile was probably as big as Rosa's when we arrived. They take items from the cars to the cabins using golf carts. Rosa was thrilled to ride along. Sometimes she is shy but she went eagerly. Emma walked and I scooted. Mike , her Daddy, and Greg came with too. She was the hit of the show. On this day that is much like the beginning of a family reunion it is fun to bring our families and of course show them off. Emma was so happy and has a bubbly personality.
That was day one. We arrived around 11:00 am. We unpacked just a bit and headed down to lunch. Rosa just barely fits on my scooter with me so she liked that. There is a seperate building that is the dinning hall that has a great view of the lake. It has a ramp for all up to the main floor. The bottom walk out floor is a big meeting room used for various activities. Both have great views.
The family is welcome to join us for a simple lunch. Rosa liked that. They has sandwich items and a salad etc. Rosa kept asking me which people were the people I knew? I know a lot of them but of course not all. I think there were over 110 participants and volunteers. I do not know the exact count of course. There is another camp in May but the guests as they call us with MS can only come once. Many volunteers come both full weeks. Imagine many of them if not most use their vacation time to come out to be with us. They tell us it is a joyful week for them though they work very hard.
I am was in one of the "independent" cabins. That means the individuals with MS there can manage there own self care and also cognitively manage independently. MS can impact people in cognitive ways. Most of us notice it in ourselves but it does impact some very significantly and that is sad. They live in the cabins with more volunteers. Those more physically disabled also need to have more care 24 hours a day. Every cabin has a nurse to help out. In our cabin she did not need to sleep there and could also be on call to help at other cabins as needed.
Rosa was not happy when it was time to leave. She told one of the staff that they should let the grandchildren stay to help their grandma's. She encouraged me to make new friends and have fun before she left. Greg had to work in the evening since it was a Sunday. She did insist on helping me unpack and lay out my sleeping bag on the bed. My son Michael was also great and my husband. It was so nice to have them there. I think everyone liked meeting them and they liked putting faces to the names of individuals I will talk about after camp.
That day of camp is slow moving and relaxing. An orientation meeting is held in the later afternoon to explain rules, procedutes and give an over view of the week. I notice the new comers and remember how nervous I was that first year. We all try to be so good to new comers we have to try not to overwhelm them. Also at camp there are a wide range of abilities. That first year seeing so many walkers, scooters, and wheel chairs can be scary. There are some people who have it so severely that it can really be tough to take the first time you come since you have the same disease.
Each year you note that some people are worse and some much worse indeed and that is sad. But as you get to know individuals especially over the years - you don't even notice the wheechairs or other aids. You can look at the faces and smiles and be so glad to spend the time in that beautiful place with such wonderful people - including the volunteers and MS staff.
Most the help is volunteer.
Emma was intrigued by the sights, and smells in this beautiful natural place. It is held at camp Courage.
We had a great time.
Mary and Emma