Alissa’s Letter From Camp

I was a camper at Camp Light Up A Life for eleven summers before I decided to go beyond that and contribute to camp on a higher level by becoming a Leader in Progress.

I have one year of that training completed but hope to have more in the coming years. The camp is important to me on so many levels. It is a place of many firsts for me; the first time I met others with cerebral palsy, the first place I was able to try new things without someone telling me I couldn’t because of my disability, and the place where I have made many friendships that will last me a lifetime. Every child should have the chance to experience camp in one way or another. It becomes particularly important if that child has a disability. Camp may be the only place where they can break free from the stereotypes and stigmas placed upon them in everyday life and feel free to be themselves for a week at a time because everyone is there for the same reason: to have fun and get away from the real world’s schedules and expectations. Camp gave me and probably lots of others a chance to be better at some things than others. This was one of my experiences as I went to a regular public school and was unable to do a lot that the other kids did, but at camp I was better at some things than others and this changed my outlook on my abilities not my disability. I have always had a positive attitude about my disability but camp each year just made that grow more and reinforce what my parents told me that I could do anything I set my mind too. Even after eleven summers I still look forward to camp each year and even with changing my roles in camp it is still a fun positive place to experience and I feel that every child with or without a disability should experience.

Now with a year of experience of being a leader in progress at camp it has allowed me to further my bond with the staff and kids that I interact with every summer. Not only was I able to see what it takes to be a respected and well trained counselor at camp, I was also able to give back some of the caring and helpfulness that the staff at Camp Horizon have now provided me with for the past twelve summers now. I can only hope that the opportunity to attend camp and give back to the kids and staff that have helped me become who I am today will continue for many years to come.