The first day of each week of Adam’s Camp, I have the pleasure of welcoming our therapy families at a reception after they check in and each week I stress how honored the staff is for the families to take the step of turning over their most precious asset, their children to us for the week.
“Oh, you can have him!” one of the parents said this week, tongue firmly in cheek. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s really precious and all, but really, for this week, you can have him!”
The comment drew hearty chuckles from the other parents in the crowd, most of whom nodded their heads in agreement. This drove home to me again one of the greatest aspects of Adam’s Camp – how the week is not just about the children receiving therapy or the teens and young adults expanding horizons in adventure camp, it is about the rare opportunity for parents to step out of their daily lives and responsibilities, and fully relax and rejuvenate. As our founder Karel Horney quickly realized when her and her husband Bob started Adam’s Camp 30 years ago in 1986, a chance to refresh brought a new energy and strength to their entire family far beyond just a week away.
“It is like when you throw a stone into a pond and the ripples just go every which way,” said Bob in a recent interview about Adam’s Camp turning 30. “That’s what we think happens at Adam’s Camp. “
Each year, it is also exciting for us to welcome new families who are experiencing Adam’s Camp for the first time. Dropping off a teenager for an entire week at adventure camp for the first time, it is easy to see parents and the campers are a little nervous, but in nearly every case, a chorus of “I had a GREAT week” from both sides joins the joy of a reunion on pickup day.
Also, new therapy families are always a little introverted when they first arrive. It does not take long to break that ice and usually by the campfire on the second night, parents are creating new fellowships and renewing connections. The third night when we host our parent’s night out with skilled child care, and we hear frequently from first-timers it is the first time couples have had a date night in year.
This year, we increased capacity in our camps to record heights and in the case of adventure camps, were completely full with a waiting list months in advance. In the majority of cases, parents want to know when they can sign up for the following year when they finish their week-ending conference with their therapists and pickup their adventure campers. We need look no further to see evidence of those ripples of the stone that is Adam’s Camp.
(Adam’s Camp Executive Director Jay Clark blogs regularly from Adam’s Camp in Snow Mountain Ranch, usually late at night, so please pardon any typos.)