We're all going on a bear hunt...

Trip Start Jun 15, 2010
1
4
24
Trip End Jan 27, 2011


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow
Where I stayed
Camp Loyaltown

Flag of United States  , New York
Saturday, August 14, 2010

Well, I has been a long 7 or so weeks since I touched down in New York City!
We are in the second half of forth session (the two week stays that most campers come for) and then we have a short break before the last 5 day session of summer camp. If I haven't explained it well before, I am based at a summer camp for people with special needs (mostly autism and mental disabilities) that is up in the Catskills region of New York state. We look out of our cabins onto Hunter mountain, where we can see the skirtuns cut into the trees. Its a very quiet town this time of year and the 200 odd camp staff make up most of the local bar's patrons everynight (and they are kind enough to let us attack their wifi).

I live in a cabin with 8 counsellors and 6 campers, and we have a pool, pond, nature barn (with a miniture pony and goats) and an athletics field. All our meals are eaten with campers (most of whom have to be assisted to eat) in the dining hall and we have activities all day (music, cooking, drama, arts, sports, etc) and then one after dinner (like a variety concert) before we all head off to bed. All my campers this session have cerabal palsy and are in wheelchairs. Over the last session I have been with women of vaying ages (14 - 55years) with differing levels of need. So it has been a steep learing curve around assisting people to toilet, dress, shower and get around camp. The campers and counsellors have been amazing and everyone has thown themselves into the experience fealessly. There is no embarassment or modestly at camp. We sing at the top of our lungs, dress and act ridiculously (on and off stage) and go to breakfast and sometimes lunch in our pajamas.

We have squished as much adventure as we can into our day off each week and my days have included trips to Woodstock, north/south lake, skydiving, tubing on river rapids and plenty of swimming, drinking and mucking about. I don't remeber what television is, or what its like to watch a movie on anything bigger than a computer screen. But I don't really miss eaither at the moment. I have definately had moments of missing privacy, uninterupted sleep, nice clothes and of course toilets with doors. But knowing that I will soon have all these things again makes it easy to put the discomfort aside for the benifits of the experience.

I have met loads of amazing people and been luckly to make what I hope will be lasting friendships. Kaitlyn and Janna, the two aussie sisters who are my closest partners in crime make me miss my own sisters and wish I could share this expereince with them. They have been my family here and helped me stay sane (and fit, kaitlyn makes me run!).

So we are coming up to the three day break, also known as the keg party (when the local bar will do a roaring trade!) then its a short time until my camp experience is over and we all set off on our travels. I'm planning a road trip with some camp people and hope to see a bit of the eastern side of the country before I fly up to see Megan in Vancouver. But as strage as it seems I am excited about the next 2 weeks of discomfort and exhaustion, because it is spent with sach a great mob of people, both co-workers and campers in the little bubble that is Camp Loyaltown.


Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

LA on

Good on ya chick! Sounds fantastic, I'm living through you right now HAHA :-P Keep enjoying yourself and hope the next two weeks and beyond of travels provides with you all the fun, hapiness, growth, crayzness, friendship, more fun, peace and joy and everything else you so deserve :) Good on you for all the amazing stuff you are doing at camp, it's so great to hear!!!
PS. If you like mountains Upstsate New York - The Adirondacks are amazing!!! :)
Lotsa love,
LA xo

Add Comment

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: