Camp...much like writing, soccer, time with gym and music...completes me as a person. It is a key to keeping me balanced. It is a second family. It is a different way that give cancer a punch in the gut. Camp was on my mind this week...how lucky I am to have so many amazing connections with tremendous people...campers, families, and siblings.
This past year, given my crazy schedule for training for the half marathon and marathon, I made the tough decision to not do Camp Fantastic and several other weekends. I actually only volunteered for one camp event this year. In fact, my marathon was the same weekend as Octoberfest...one of my most favorite family weekends. Well, it was my favorite until this past May. I (much to my surprise) have a new favorite weekend. Under Seven Weekend!! It is geared toward children under 7 with cancer but their families get to join along in the fun. I knew I was matched with the PERFECT Family because the older sister called her baby sister Sissy. This got me. Sissy is what my sister called me when she was really little and struggled to say "Joy". Plus, on the first full day of camp...we were all wearing pink...so you know...we were instant best friends. It was also the family's first time at a camp event, so that made it even more fun.
I was really nervous because at camp, I'm always a counselor to teens. In fact, little kids scare me. So I was truly surprised by how much fun I had, I was worried I would not know what to do. I conquered a few of my camp fears that beautiful weekend in May...I not only had fun with the kiddos but I also led a song in front of the entire camp. I had never done that before. It was awesome. I got to sing the "Moose Song" which is my favorite and super easy because it is a "repeat after me" song. I even held a baby goat...I'm not good with animals either. It was such a relaxed weekend...not as much structure as other weekends. I am hooked...I can't wait till next May!!
At every family weekend, I always take a step back and watch how amazing each and every family is. I can't imagine the weight of all of their worry and all the things they need to manage while caring for a child with cancer and the siblings. I have seen that strength year after year...and it is awe inspiring each and every time. I am so lucky that I am able to be a part of such special love.