This is the letter that I am mailing to my Aunt with a card while we are gone. Thought it might interest you to hear about camp?
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Hope you like this card. Emma and I are just leaving for MS Camp. It is really fun there. The cabins are neat the lake so there are pretty views. There is also lots of trees and a wooded side of camp. There are paved trails and Emma likes when I drive my scooter and then she gets to walk in the woods. We see wild flowers and lots of greenery.
I will see lots of people I have met before and new people too. When I am with people with MS it is good for me. We laugh, we chat up a storm, but we also give each other coping ideas. Everyone likes when Emma and I are in the cabin they stay at. The cabins are big with about 25-30 people I think. Each cabin has a nurse to help with things too.
We are spoiled we get a smaller room. Big enough for three because of Emma. I have two great roommates. They love Emma and are also the cabin leaders. That means that they help organize the cabin and deal with any issues. They also welcome us, hold cabin meetings, and let us know what all is happening and where.
There are many activities. Boating on the pontoon (hope it isn’t too cold),
Fishing, swimming in an indoor pool, games like crochet, visiting the rookery, bird watching, speakers, movies, dances, campfires (our favorite) and so much more.
One friend of mine organizes a coffee shop each year. It is in a big room with a great view of the lake. It has all kinds of drinks and snacks – not just coffee. They also have games in that room. Board games and card games. It is a fun place to visit. Those who stay up late go there to meet. The cabins have a 10:00 bedtime. I am one of those asleep by 10 as there is so much to do.
Emma tuckers out too. She loves the smells and the sights and sounds. Each day I take her on at least one slow walk. Then she can really smell and look for for new sights and critters. I also take her on some brisk walks for exercise. Remember I am the lucky one I am on a scooter. I have to watch to be sure I always have water for her with me, and also some treats. She eats more at camp due to the extra exercise.
I never went to camp as a child but wished I did. MS Camp is so fun. It is funny though because unlike a kids camp, we have a nap time. Really a time you have to be quiet in the cabin in the afternoon, and not much is scheduled. Of course some don’t nap so they go to the coffee shop, or outdoors, or read or something. Emma and I and my roommates normally do nap. I have to set an alarm to wake up so we don’t miss anything.
There are lots of volunteers at camp. The staff from the MS Society come out too. They really work hard to make it all go smoothly. They like to spoil us.
It is inspiring that due to the volunteers that even those that are very handicapped with MS can attend. There are many scooters, wheel chairs, lots of walkers or people with canes. It is very unusual to see someone walking without any help. Usually that means they are a volunteer or staff person.
There are so many scooters it reminds me of the shriners in a parade. All of us with MS say we feel more “normal” because we are all in the same boat.
You don’t even notice too much that some people are in wheel chairs full time. You just see the faces of the many friends and new friends. It is more fun than I can describe. A heart warming time for all of us.
There will be other service dogs too. I think Emma and two other dogs. They are not in the same cabins. All three are from Helping Paws. They also bring out some smaller therapy dogs. Those dogs can be petted. Usually they have an ice cream social by the lake one afternoon and those pets are there for others to play with. Other people I mean to play with.
The lake is too cold and Emma won’t swim. But she will have a good time too. She and I share a bed though I do bring something for her to lay on the floor too. My roommate Kathy, loves dogs. Last year Emma hopped up in her bed and Kathy didn’t mind one bit.
The MS Society does many great things. They do research for a cure. They also offer programs for people with MS. I go to water exercise and book club. I also attend a monthly support group. There programs help me pay for help cleaning my house and other things. But gosh today I am thinking about how wonderful camp is for us. It is held at Camp courage which is fully set up for wheel chairs etc.
Well I better finish packing and get out the door. Rosa, my granddaugher, her Daddy (my son Michael) and Greg will all drive us up. They even get to have lunch with me there and look around.
I hope you have a great week. Susie will be available by phone if Maggie needs her. Maggie will take good care of you.
I did talk to Todd Lunda. What a nice man. I called him by phone. He said he hopes your arm keeps healing. He does not need to see you till August or September. You are correct you were just there in April. We can call him if there are questions but he does not drive to Augustana. He sure likes you and says to be good to yourself.
We love you,
Mary and Emma
EVeryone have a good week.