David Graham, Executive Director of Brigadoon Children’s Camp in Nova Scotia, shares a powerful story that could only happen at camp:
As the parents’ cars drove away on arrival day, a small group of boys started an impromptu game of soccer on the playing field. As more boys arrived, it became apparent that they needed to get organized. “Let’s divide into teams. Shirts and Skins.” Half the boys immediately pulled off their T-shirts, tossed them to the sidelines and play continued. As Dave explained it, this would never happen at school or at the neighbourhood park − because every camper’s chest revealed a long scar from cardiac surgery.
Brigadoon Village is a year round facility that offers camp programming to children and youth with a chronic illness, chronic condition or special needs. Similarly, at camps for children with diabetes, no one stares or questions when a camper steps aside in the middle of an activity and self-administers insulin. At camps for children with exceptionalities, where campers are no different from their cabin mates, they can be themselves and gain the strength and confidence to live happily in the real world where they are perceived as different.
Such is the power of camp.