(Sun setting over Snow Mountain Ranch, June 20, 2016, 8:45 PM)
Think about what it is you hold most dear, most precious in this world. Now think of handing over and trusting that most precious something (which is always a “someone”) to a group of people you hardly know and the anxiety that would come with such a big step.
As we wrap up Day One of Week One of Adam’s Camp 2016, it was a reminder of how the first day of Adam’s Camp is this act of families surrendering their most precious children to us. What an honor and responsibility for us! We know the benefits of the respite parents receive from Adam’s Camp are real, but the entire Adam’s Camp experience for parents and campers all starts with that first decision to say, “OK, here’s our child – our heartbeat, our soul and our light…we hope you can help us and please take good care.”
For families with children with special needs, this level of trust must even go a step deeper because most of our campers have a little higher level of physical fragility that requires extra caution and a higher level of expertise. I imagine this fragility creates an extra touch of anxiety for our families, but the expertise of our incredible staff helps ease that from the moment families set foot on the Snow Mountain Ranch campus. Whether watching adventure counselors carefully count out and chart medications before bedtime, or listening to therapists discussing methods to make sure car seats are secured properly in a van, it is a wonder and a delight to see our staff wholeheartedly embrace this honor and responsibility.
Day Ones of each week are a personal favorite because it is the chance for me to step in front of the team, welcome them, encourage them, appreciate them, try to make them laugh and above all, try to make them understand that by their actions this week they have the power to change the world – at least the world of the family right in front of them. And they have the chance to do so in the incomparable beauty of the Colorado Rockies. After orientation in the morning, there was more training, more mobilizing equipment, lunch, setting up cabins, setting up spaces, dinner and learning more about new teammates and new campers.
So Day Two unleashes the full whirlwind of Adam’s Camp for our adventure campers, therapy campers and our camper siblings, with activities running from 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM: tubing hill, zip lining, low ropes course, archery, climbing walls, therapeutic horseback riding, canoeing and the legendary talent show.
Or in other words, just another day’s work in living up to the honor and responsibility of running Adam’s Camp!
(Adam’s Camp Executive Director Jay Clark blogs regularly during camp, usually late at night, so please excuse any typos!)