I would just like to say thank you for your sponsorship and organisation of this camp.
It was very exciting for our youngest son as it was the first time we had been in a tent camping, other than the backyard, even though my sister says it was really GLAMPING, "glamour camping", because we had flushing toilets, showers with hot water and our food was prepared for us.
Our eldest son Aidan is 13 years old and cannot talk, walk or communicate independently and relies on a wheelchair and large pram for mobility. He is like a big toddler mentally but in the body of a normal gangly teenager. Aidan loves being outdoors, moving around and being pushed about in his mobility pram surrounded by other children. The weather was VERY hot (35 plus) for most of Saturday which sapped the energy from Aidan who ended up spending a fair bit of time snoozing in his mobility pram under a mozzy net to keep him safe from the flies, however it didn't stop his younger brother Liam who was eagerly into all the activities.
Saturday night we had a cool change at dinner time just before the talent show that saw many of us reaching for jumpers and both the kids loved the variety acts. Sunday was cooler and Aidan, who loves all forms of music enjoyed watching the drum sessions and was clapping along at times.
Our "normal" 8 year old son, Liam, loved the freedom to run around with other physically able children and participate in the range of activities that were organised for us. He finally learnt to use a swing for the first time, spurred on and encouraged by other children. Having spent the weekend playing with a mixture of children, including those with ADHD, I believe he has a new appreciation of Aidan's disabilities compared with the challenges faced that other siblings have to deal with.
The weekend gave us a chance to go "CAMPING" in a relaxed manner because everything was organised for us and we could just enjoy our children and watching them have fun without having to think ahead about the next meal, what we do now etc. Being surrounded by other families who were unfazed by seeing drop seizures, muscle spasms and nappies on 13 year olds etc meant that you didn't feel the "odd one out". We also saw a few Aspergers/ADHD kids have a few mini meltdowns but they quickly sorted themselves out and continued on with the activities.
The camp was extremely well organised and speaking to some of the volunteers I realised that a number of them had been touched by disability also, in the forms of partners, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. There were so many volunteers, each given a role and playing their part, be it garbage collection or sandwich making to help the families enjoy their weekend it was amazing.
Thank you once again for your sponsorship for making this event possible.
Cara, Wallsend - 2013.