Overnight and Day Camps

Both Cloe and her mom came to camp....see both their stories

S’mores

The best part of camp was eating s’mores by the campfire.  It was dark when I was eating S’mores by the Campfire.  Cooper was passing out the s’mores. I shared where I lived and how old I am and that I am in 4th grade. I sat by Kylie and Rachel the new friends that I had made at camp. When I bit my s’more my tooth fell out. Then I gave the tooth to Becky (my counselor) and I told her what happened. The next day I got money from the tooth fairy.  I had no idea that the tooth fairy would even come to camp!

By Chloe Porter


My daughter Chloe and I attended Jason Fleishman summer camp for the very first time in 2009. Chloe is 10 years old and has been living with epilepsy since she was 3 1/2. As we have gone through our journey with epilepsy it became important to me to find something for Chloe in which she could relate to others living with epilepsy and develop a greater understanding of her disorder.

 As a registered nurse I wanted to donate my time but also have the opportunity to learn more about epilepsy. When I researched epilepsy camps, The Jason Fleishman camp was not only the closest to where we live (only 6 hours away) but I was impressed with the activities and new experiences that camp had to offer Chloe.

Camp turned out to be much more than I ever dreamed for both of us. For Chloe it was an opportunity to try new things and the chance to meet other kids living with epilepsy.  It also was a good opportunity for her to see that she is not alone. I knew that she had had a great time at camp when on the 6 hour drive home she talked the entire time (except the last 20 miles) about camp and the fun that she had there.  She still talks about camp and how excited she is to go back next year.  I can’t remember anything else affecting Chloe the way that camp has. Shortly after we left camp Chloe asked me to get her a medic alert bracelet or necklace (because all of the kids at camp have them). For me it was a turning point. I have always felt that if she had medical ID, her disorder would become very public (which I didn’t know if either on of us was ready for).   Since camp, She has been able to talk openly about epilepsy and give specifics about her seizures. What a feeling of empowerment she has developed. What a feeling of pride I have in her ability to embrace her condition and talk about it. 

For me camp was so many things. It allowed me the opportunity to do something that I had never done before.  I enjoy the outdoors but I am not really the “roughing” it type. A shower, hair dryer, and curling iron are pretty important to me. So going to camp was kind of out on a limb for me. The hands on nursing experience allowed me to learn a great deal about epilepsy and seizures as well as the latest treatments. But more valuable than that even was the opportunity to interact with people who live with and are affected by epilepsy every day. I was amazed by the courage and bravery that the kids demonstrated, especially in light of the things that they have had to go through because of their epilepsy. As a parent I took comfort in the fact that even if I had not been at camp with my daughter, I knew she was safe and I had complete confidence that every possible emergency had been thought of and planned for. I was also honored to be a part of an incredible group of individuals who staffed the camp. They not only gave their time to spend 5 days away from their homes and families but were compassionate and caring and gave individual attention to every single camper. I have done a variety of things in my nursing career. Even though it was exhausting, the experience at camp was by far the most fun and rewarding of all!  I am excited to go back next year!

By Janell Porter

 

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