Hey, Camp Fans!
We were delighted to see such a great response to our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp and now we’re eager to publish each one right here on the Blog! After our seven lucky winners, everyone else who submitted received a $15 gift certificate to our online store!
Today’s post is from Violette W., who had her first year at Camp Eagle Hill. Check out her story and why it was a different experience for her!
“I was so nervous about camp this year. This was my first year attending a camp that wasn't just for kids with autism. This year I would be with neurotypical kids who might not understand what autism is. I worried that the campers would think some of my quirkiness was just weird and avoid being around me. When I arrived at camp the counselors were friendly and welcoming. The other kids also seemed nervous. It was a relief to realize that I wasn't the only kid who was feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
We moved our things into the cabin and right away I noticed some kids staring at me. I thought my autism was what was making them stare. I began worrying that I looked weird. Some of the kids came right over. It turned out that they hadn't noticed anything different about me but had been admiring my neon trunk. The kids all loved my custom made hot pink, green and purple trunk that I had ordered from Everything Summer Camp a few months before. The trunk was like a magnet to the other kids and it was my icebreaker for conversations. Usually conversations with kids are hard for me but I found talking about the colorful trunk was an easy way to form friendships.
The weeks flew by and instead of going off by myself and reading (which is what I usually do when socializing gets too overwhelming) I took part in all the activities. I learned to swim and for the first time in my life I played ball games with my friends and teammates. No one cared that I wasn't very athletic. We just enjoyed playing as a team.
I am so thankful that I had such a terrific experience. The campers and staff were so supportive and I'm also so pleased that I was able to form friendships with the other kids. That neon trunk helped give me a way to start to feel comfortable talking and feeling less awkward around my bunkmates. It was like a neon light in a dark tunnel for me. While I always struggle a bit with social skills, the camp experience gave me confidence and I no longer feel so anxious about being in new situations. I am looking forward to beginning a new school year and meeting even more new people.”
It’s awesome to hear what a smooth transition you made from a your previous camp to Camp Eagle Hill, Violette! Sounds like you did a great job socializing with all those neuro-normies this summer! That’s excellent. Obviously, no one knows how things are in someone else’s head, but I can assure you that social anxiety runs rampant among folks who land all over the spectrum! I’m glad you didn’t let it affect your time at camp. And we’re all so happy to hear that your custom-made colorful trunk gave you such an easy conversation piece! Nice work this summer, Violette!
Everyone else can have a great time like Violette did at Camp Eagle Hill and check it out for yourself by clicking here. As always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!