2016 MDA Summer Camp

Action 4 Ashton > Duchenne Life > 2016 MDA Summer Camp
Finally Asleep

Ashton was worried that he would not be able to sleep Saturday night because he was too excited to get up and drive to Summer Camp in the morning. I was up late packing, labeling all of his things and finishing his arrival paperwork. When I went into his room to get something I was happy to see he fell asleep. Was not too surprised as he was tired all week and we had been out of town all day. Sunday morning he was up early, ate breakfast and was raring to go. Load one case of water, two duffle bags plus three thirteen gallon bags of bedding. Yes, all of that for just 5 nights and 6 days and we are ready to hit the road.

A Full Full-Sized Van

This was actually one of Ashton’s better traveling days. He handled the radio being on two thirds of the way, only asked when we would be there a couple times and made the whole 130 miles without a bathroom break. Wow! I packed us each a ziplock bag of fresh strawberries for a snack but he said he could not eat them because they tasted like bananas. He insisted he was so hungry and needed to eat. He usually is more hungry on the weekends as he takes a high dose of prednisone on Saturday and Sunday to try and alleviate some of the behavioral side effects at school.

Westfield is where we get of the freeway to start heading east, McDonald’s is right there and one of my “safe” stopping places if he needs a bathroom break when we are on the road. I go to order what Ashton wanted and they say they only serve breakfast until 10:30 so we pull out of line and keep driving to camp. Now isn’t it really odd that McDonald’s advertises serving breakfast all day long but they only serve breakfast items at 10 AM? I think so!

The Gingerbread Man?

As we are nearing Summer Camp I ask Ashton if he recognizes anything and if he might tell me how to get the rest of the way. He says “The gingerbread man will tell me when we are close.” and I have no idea what he means by that. This is the third year driving there from this direction and I thought he might be able to remember the last turn or two but travel directions just must not be his thing. The lake is a huge clue and there are only two turns left when we drive past it. In fact you can see the back of the building that they eat in across the lake. Then as we near the driveway Ashton says “There’s the gingerbread man, we are here!” Now how did I not realize what he was talking about?

When we arrived Anna saw our van and came over to help unload and drop Ashton’s stuff by his cabin and we were off to check-in. Sarah is at the first table. Ashton of course tells her he is so hungry. She tells Anna to pick him out a snack for him saying “you know what he likes”. Anna comes out with a snack size bag of Cheetos. Yes, Anna does know Ashton well and that made him very happy for the rest of the check-in process. For those of you who may wonder, the kids are checked for head lice, their temperature is taken, parent goes over all medications with the nurse, parent goes over therapies with the therapist, kids get their camp t-shirt, camp sinch sack bag, camp water bottle and then make their name tag.

Anna & Ashton

Ashton is always anxious for me to leave at this point and let the fun begin but we go to his cabin so I can make his bunk. I get out Ashton’s wheelchair charger, let Anna know all of Ashton’s socks are packed inside out because he has to wear them that way with his new splints and had to try on two pairs of swim shoes on Ashton to see which size fits. Can you believe a simple thing like finding him a pair that fits was such an ordeal this year?

Then after our good-bye hug I went back to the main lodge to make a couple letters for Ashton. They have a wide assortment of paper, envelopes and stickers to use to make the kids camp mail. Good thing too as I never have time to do this ahead of time and my last minute camp mail is much more colorful than what I would have come up with at home. I had two ideas, stickers inspired a third idea and then thought must do four so he get mail each of the full days Monday thru Thursday.

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