Monday, July 18, 2016

A Moondragon at Camp



For months, this child had been in tears almost daily with anxiety over going to Resident Camp at Camp Calumet. Even though he knows Camp Calumet well, knows much of the staff, and is comfortable there. He wanted to be dropped off last and picked up first. 

There are things at Camp that aren't compatible with this high functioning autistic child's sensory issues... like sand and showers. And then there's the fact that a week away from Mama and Daddy seems incredibly daunting.

And then drop off time arrived. He chose to be dropped off first. After a brief chat with and a "shoe five" from his counselor, Ben, who happened to have the exact same footwear, he let me know it was time for me to go. No tears. No hanging on.

Mama, of course, spent the first few days of camp trying not to worry about this child. Not that I didn't have full confidence in him or in the Camp Calumet staff ... it's just that it's difficult for this Mama to not be completely sure that her adorable child is having the time of his life. Then the first letter arrived.



So all was going relatively well... whether or not this child was hit in the face several times. Apparently even that is all good at Camp Calumet.

As the week wore on, I figured no news was good news. And then on Thursday...



Having received the note on Thursday, I realized he'd written it during rest hour on Wednesday - the day of Camp when time seems to stand still for the even-sightly homesick. Somehow, though, I knew that he was going to do fine for the rest of the week.

And he did. 

Having the opportunity to give us a hug and chat for a couple minutes after his performance in Androcles and the Lion, he opted for quick hugs, a "Camp is good" update, and then ran off to Snack Bar. No tears. No hanging on. 

He was excited to see us when we picked him up, and did do a bit of hanging on to his Mama for a while. I didn't mind at all. 

Over the next few days, stories from his Camp Calumet experience were shared. Four square balls don't hurt too much when they hit you in the face. Showering had been avoided until the "Car Wash" which was the only reason his hair was clean. Drama Camp was awesome. Camp Food was great (thanks, Adrien!!!). He sat next to Lily every day when doing gimp. And after that Wednesday rest hour weariness, he found himself too busy and having too much fun and it was time to go home before he knew it. 



The biggest news of all - he's looking forward to returning to Resident Camp next year!

Thank you, Camp Calumet Counselors, CITs, L&S, and Staff for providing such a wonderful environment for a child who navigates the world a bit differently. 


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