I am SO SO excited to be back from my 3-week jaunt to the West Coast for camp!
As I’ve discussed before, I absolutely love the camp experience, and I’ve spent the last 4 years working at a 2-week summer program for kids with social/cognitive challenges in Cupertino, California. The social/cog and Autism population is kind of my niche, and my weeks at camp challenge me and push me to be the best possible special educator I can me.
They also challenge me in other ways.
See, camp is not a time when my needs, desires, or routines are anywhere near the top of my priority list. When I need to bring this camper to the nurse, get in touch with that camper’s parents, check in with five separate counselors about five separate problems and talk to the camp chef about tomorrow’s menu, all in the span of a 50 minute activity block… let’s just say I didn’t get to swim my laps or do my stretches or eat my salads. And I might have dipped into the camp ice cream stash…daily.
I’m a little more sore than usual, and my clothes are fitting a little more tightly.
Now that I’m back on the east coast, I am so looking forward to eating some great food, and SURPRISE easing back into running!!!!
You heard me right, folks.
My first stop after my red-eye flight home was my orthopedist’s office. I’d worked hard to moderate my activity levels during camp, which was not easy; I had a hard time not hauling supplies on my own or hiking with the kids. But my leg is showing some clear signs of improvement, and it’s been a full 8 weeks since my last run, so my doc gave me the okay to move forward with some more active recovery.
So, as of next week, I can begin run-walking! Then slow running! Then sort of real running!
I’m scheduled for a 5k/10k on September 17th, and I’m planning to run whichever of the 2 events I feel up to. I need to take it slow and listen to my body, so I’m trying not to get too committed to a certain distance right now:)
And without further adiu… here are a few snapshots of the #camplife
It all started on night one of orientation, when our entire staff had to be evacuated to a target parking lot due to a wildfire near our campground.
No worries! We got to head back to camp a few hours later! And soon my co-coordinator and I were back in uniform, welcoming our campers, and going over our camp rules.
As a coordinator, I was in charge of making sure our staff was supported, resources were appropriately accessed, and accommodations were created so that ALL kids, regardless of challenges or disabilities, were able to have a truly great camp experience. Every day started with a structured greeting and schedule review. I LOVE this part of the day, because I’m able to set my campers up for a day of positivity. Sidenote: Evidently I managed to braid my hair one morning. Go me!
Because by the eve of our first field trip, as I burnt the midnight oil, checking itineraries and editing van lists and internalizing maps of San Francisco from Google, my co-worker presented me with this portrait.
We got through a trip to San Francisco mostly unscathed, though! I loved being able to bring the kids to tour the historic tall ships:) HISTORY RULEZZZ
At some point our two youngest campers signed up to be my assistants for a day (we have a positive behavior incentive system, and one of the prizes a kid can choose is to assist a staff member) and I spent the entire day overloading on the cute. LOOK AT THE CLIPBOARDS! Also… look how coffee stained my teeth were. #sleepdeprivation #thestruggleisreal
Then my co-coordinator rocked out while I DJ’d the camp dance.
And eventually it was time to head on home!! see the airport selfie with my co-workers below for proof of my excitement. I love camp…but I was super excited to get dropped at the airport. I headed up to Seattle for a few days before coming on back to Boston, too, so I’ll be writing a travel entry on that very soon:)