Tag Archives: summer camp

And…we’re back!

What a great week!  (Can I go again? Please??) 🙂

Where to start?  I only have one kid back so far, so we’ll start with him!

Colin was so excited about camp – we’d been talking about it since the Open House in April.  For those who didn’t see my previous post, the camp I’m talking about is Charis Hills.  We arrived and were sent to check in Colin’s meds as he was swept away for a mini-physical and picture-taking.  While in line, we got to speak to a couple of other parents – their kids had been campers there before.  They raved about how much fun their kids had and how much they loved this camp and everyone involved. It was really nice to have people set our minds at ease right away!

In the medication line, I couldn’t help but notice the bags other kids had.  Our doctor had told us that Colin wasn’t on as many meds as we might think, and maybe he was right. Some of these kids had enough to fill a gallon sized Ziploc bag.  Colin’s four medications didn’t seem like much in comparison!

We double-checked his activities – apparently he and one little girl named Emily were the only ones signed up for dance!  I tried to sign him up for activities that didn’t involve sitting quietly or shooting anything (boating, fishing, archery and riflery were OUT!).  When we turned around, he was already on his way to his cabin! 

In the cabin, we helped him make his bed – top bunk! – and then it was time to change into his swim clothes for a swim evaluation.  He was pretty much pushing us out the door.  I think he must have said “Bye, Dad!” at least three times before we left!

One of my favorite things about this camp is that they have their own shutterfly account and they post pics daily!  That was really nice – we’d check out the site each night and see what he’d been up to.   Here are a few:

in class – they had study time!

Testing out the water

Swim lessons! Colin earned an award for putting his head under water before the week was over!

I found it pretty funny when we picked him up that one of the first things his designated counselor mentioned was how early he would wake up.  Apparently the kids were supposed to sleep until 7:30am – yeah right!!

 Otherwise, they said he did pretty well.  They sent home a little evaluation sheet that discussed how he did at meeting the goals we’d asked them to help him work on (assessing dangerous situations, developing a less inflated sense of self, etc).  They essentially said what we knew – that he doesn’t think before acting and will apologize after the fact, so he knows wrong from right, he just doesn’t have the impulse control to stop himself.  He got in trouble mid-week for touching/taking other people’s things, but he gave them back immediately without argument, so that’s good. All in all, he had a blast.  He can’t wait to go back again next year!  We will probably hear about “sleep away camp” (as he calls it) for months to come. — As this blog has gotten fairly long-winded already, I think I’ll save my yabbering and pictures on our kidless vacation for another post!  I need more pictures from the camera anyhow.  It’ll be like one of those old slide-shows your grandparents made you watch as a kid!  (I know, you can’t wait, right??)

Applying to Summer Camp

Last year we weren’t sure what we would do during the summer.  Rick works nights and two of the three boys were out of school.  (We’d tried paying for daycare the summer before, but Colin was kicked out within weeks and Ryan spent the better part of the summer acting out because he thought it was a privilege to be at home with Dad.)  I started researching camps left and right. That’s when I found out about Charis Hills.

Charis Hills is a camp for ADHD and Autistic kids aged 7-18. They have 8 weeks of camp over the course of the summer – some for ages 7-14, others for ages 13-18. It’s an impressive camp…with a bit of a hefty price tag.  It wasn’t a viable option for us last year, but I told myself I wanted to find a way to make it happen this year.

Well, here we are…ready to commit.  Today, I went online to fill out the camper application and give them our $200 deposit.  There were a trillion questions! (Okay, maybe just a few dozen!)  I felt like I was taking an essay exam, but I understand why all these details are needed.  When I got near the end, I saw something that caused me a bit of worry.  They would email me and let me know if Colin had been accepted (and not charge my card until then).

Accepted?? I thought just being on spectrum and ADHD would get him in.  Well, that and our chunk o’change, of course.

It had never occurred to me before that there would be an acceptance policy.  Had I made him sound violent?  Did I over-exaggerate his meltdowns?  Should I go back and downplay some of his personality quirks??

No, no… of course it’s better to be honest – I wouldn’t want him to be accepted only to be turned away two days in.  I had detailed every possible concern as best as I could.

I shouldn’t have worried.  It’s not as if he’s running around stabbing people or bashing his head against walls.  The camp has a 1:3 ratio for most activities (sometimes lower), so that’s about on par with  a weekend with family.  And these people have training under their belts!

Long story short, we received our acceptance letter. *sigh of relief*

Colin will be going to camp in July.  I’m so excited for him!

I’m also excited for us, too – Rick and I have had offers from our mothers to take the other two the same week!  What on earth will we do for a whole week without children or work?

Is it July yet???