Monday, August 23, 2010

A Note From Camp Sunshine

One of the reasons that Camp Sunshine was such a tremendous success is that they have a large number of volunteer camp counselors.  These counselors are mainly teenagers and college students who committed a week of their summer to spend with kids.  There were two amazing things about the volunteers:  first, was the sheer numbers.  It seemed as if there was a dedicated counselor for each child.  Each child felt special because they had large chunks of time from the volunteers.  Second, the quality of these volunteers was tremendous.  All of the volunteers were genuinely attached to the kids and committed to making sure their time was special.  It choked me up on the final night of camp to see many of the volunteers crying, even though they were with the kids just a few days.

The note below is from Isabella’s favorite counselor.  She spent a lot of time with Isabella and was instrumental in making sure the camp recognized Isabella’s birthday.  You can tell from the note the quality person that she is – Isabella was definitely lucky to have her as her friend.

   My name is __________ and I was a counselor at Camp Sunshine this summer.  I regret never introducing myself to you or your wife but maybe you remember me.  I had the pleasure of being an ages 6 to 8 counselor and was so blessed to have met your lovely daughter, Isabella.  I remember thinking how much she reminded me of myself, in that she takes a little while to open up to new people. I think that's why I immediately, in a way, attached myself to her because I am the same way.  I wanted to make sure that she had one of the most amazing weeks and hopefully she did :)

    Being that I am not a morning person, the mornings at Camp were considered very early in my mind.  But as the week progressed, I woke up every morning looking forward to seeing Isabella's half toothless smile and playing all sorts of fun games with her.  She beat me in everything we played; checkers, candy land, tether ball etc.  Isabella is one smart little girl.  When I found out that she would be celebrating her seventh birthday at Camp, I went to the lead 6 to 8 counselor and asked her if we could do something special for such a special girl.  So we made her a card that we got everyone to sign, and a birthday crown.  We even had our class sing to her during arts and crafts one day.  She lit up as we presented her with the birthday crown and the cutest smile spread across her face as all the attention was focused on her.  That is one of my favorite memories all week.

  Although there are countless other memories that I made during that week with Isabella at Camp, it would literally take me a few days to write them all down.  I can't really explain in words how it happened, but your daughter has truly changed my life.  Despite her situation, she always had a smile on her face and had a certain glow about her.  I am having trouble finding the right words to describe how much of an impact she made on me.  But I just wanted to take the time to let you know that I am thankful beyond words that I had the opportunity to meet your daughter.  She will always have a place in my heart and I will always be thinking about the fantastic memories we shared at Camp Sunshine.

   I signed up to follow your blog and have been receiving the updates.  I am praying for Isabella, as well as you and your family.  I have faith and hope in each day that a miracle will come. 

I attached some pictures that I took over the week at Camp, some with Isabella and I, and some with her and my friends.  But I thought that maybe you would enjoy seeing them.  In one of the pictures Isabella is drawing a picture...she asked me how to spell my name because she was drawing me and her holding hands.  I hung the picture on my wall because it makes me smile every time I see it (I also included a picture of it hanging on my wall.)


1 comment:

  1. Your daughter is an angel. As you already know she has impacted the lives of many....even of people that dont know her personally. I think of all of you everyday. Im sure your family has become part of all the followers of this blogs lives. I know you have all become a big part of mine.


    Katie Vasquez


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