Archive | June 2019

My First Week of Sleepaway Camp

So let’s reveal exciting news before talking about sleepaway camp: I’m moving out on my own for the very first time! I’m going into a group home!

So this summer, I’m doing some weeks at a sleepaway camp, located in Warwick in beautiful Orange County. I will, by the way, be moving to Rockland, not far from Orange, and I will be with Young Adult Institute.

The problem? I have never been away from my family overnight before. So my dad sent me to a sleepaway camp in Warwick for people with disabilities and I had a blast. This week was my first week and I’m going back next week, and, hopefully, one more week after that.

It’s funny because when I was a junior in Girl Scouts I always wanted my camping badge. Well, I couldn’t do it so I never got it. But, at camp, I went swimming, canoeing, made s’mores at a campfire as well as a talent show. It was also a Christian camp so we had Christian education and a lot of arts and crafts. We went to the drive-in and had a dance. It was so much fun. We had awesome staff and an awesome teacher.

I was able to soak in some beautiful nature and as I did, I quietly said to myself, “I will definitely miss beautiful Orange County, but I know I’m going to a better place that can help me.”

A Wonderful Experience Talking to Kids

Wow. You know, growing up I never knew if I liked children. I admired children’s play, their innocence, their creativity. Children’s way of simplifying things: good, bad and indifferent.

I was a communication board user growing up. I was the second oldest of five grandchildren. I loved experiencing the three younger cousins growing up. The problem was my communication board didn’t talk. I couldn’t talk to my cousins.

Well, now I have an AAC device, that changed. I can talk to my cousins. I can converse on a different level.

I even gave a speech to a fifth grade class last week. A fifth grade class. They were doing a unit on inspiring people. They read a book called “Out of My Mind”. It was about a girl like me, who had a photographic memory. I do not have a photographic memory, but this girl had a disability that’s similar to mine. They found my blog and invited me to speak.

I spoke. They loved it. Now a second class asked me to speak. Who knows? Maybe public speaking will be my career. Time will tell.