How Mom and I Grew in Self-Confidence Through My Summer Camp Experience
50 years later, these are the highlights I now recall from my camping experience:
- DISABILITY CULTURE: One of our camp counselors helped us discuss whether we liked being called “handicapped”. We found ourselves brainstorming about alternative terms after learning about the historical context of “handicapped”.
- GRATITUDE: I learned how to write a “thank you” note to my sponsor.
- EXPANDED INTERESTS: In addition to pool time, picnics and hikes, I dabbled in ceramics and photography – activities not available at home or school.
- ACCEPTANCE: My roommate, who also had CP, believed in flying saucers (which I thought was a little strange), but he became my best buddy outside of grade school.
- FREEDOM: I felt free for the first time to function within an accepting community without the stigma of being disabled or the structured routine of the classroom.
- CONFICT RESOLUTION: While working on the camp’s newsletter, when I was 15, I had to handle an accusation from a fellow volunteer that “I was not pulling my weight”.
Jim Hasse, founder of cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com (the career-coaching guide for parents of CP youngsters) is an Accredited Business Communicator and Global Career Development Facilitator. He has CP. See http://www.cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com/self-confidence-quotes.html
Copyright © 2014. Hasse Communication Counseling, LLC. All rights reserved
Images courtesy © Asmik/photo xpress
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This post originally appeared on our March/April 2014 Magazine