This was our family’s second time attending camp at CCK and it was yet again an amazing experience. Being a family in which one of the children has a spinal cord injury makes vacations hard. Not only do you need to plan so that activities will be accessible for that child, but you also need to plan around medical appointments, work schedules, school, budgets, etc. all while trying to keep everyone entertained and happy. It can be stressful! So when applications came out for CCK TMA family camp this summer we jumped on it.
Camp takes almost all of that stress away. At CCK we found everything to be accessible for Emmalyn who is 9. There was a set schedule to follow and guide our family through each day. Siesta was a perfect time each day for the kids to have some down time and for us parents to sit in the quiet and cool down.
TMA camp gave our family time to bond and just have fun together. It was nice being able to reconnect with families we had met two years prior. It helps being able to talk with them about many of the same struggles we are all facing. I also found so much joy in watching Emmalyn “fit in” with all the other kids. She seemed relaxed and at ease knowing she wasn’t the different one in a room full of wheelchairs and crutches, at least for four days anyway.
The other very important part about camp was meeting with the team of doctors. Learning about all the new research being done is encouraging. Even more important was the opportunity to stop them anywhere you saw them at camp and drill- I mean ask- them my questions. They didn’t require my insurance card or for me to meet my medical deductible first before I could ask them a question. To know they are truly listening to my concerns about my child meant the world to me.
So, after days filled with horseback riding, messy games, archery, woodshop, bowling, boating, cooking, singing, and lots more fun, we are home. These are memories our family will cherish and for that we are so very grateful.
~ The Vander Wal Family