Last fall, we had the opportunity to go to a wonderful family camp that enriched us more than I expected.
The brochure said the camp was for families with a child with special needs, but nothing more was detailed. We didn’t know what we’d be doing, but we knew it would be camp, and that would be fun!
By day, each of our kids played with peers, while we listened to inspiring speakers. We had the opportunity to ask questions of a physician and even a state services decision-maker. At meal times we were with our kids again, as they pointed out their new friends across the mess hall. Then they went back to their activities, and we went on to more workshops. We even got a date night with babysitters who came to our room, and our kids had already played with them all weekend, so the kids were happy to see them.
As parents, the time away from the kids was new and refreshing. The kids were totally independent throughout our time there, and were more outgoing and willing to try new things than we’ve ever seen them. At first, I was a little concerned how little they needed us, but I enjoyed being at camp with them, almost as an outside observer. Their increased socialization and independence wasn’t even the best part of camp.
At home, our oldest boys fight almost constantly. While at camp, our oldest son made crafts for his brother, and gave him some of his treasure he discovered. The camp leaders even let him make an extra shirt for his brother. They don’t even know what healing they did for our family. I think I cried when I saw what my oldest did for his brother. And the younger one still wears that over-sized shirt with his brother’s name across the front.
When we got home, the boys continued to treasure and nurture each other. The camp did so much to give them a break from each other and rekindle their brotherly love. Now I must find a way for our family to go to camp on a regular basis!