Monday, July 31, 2017

Summer Camp Fun, Sh'mucks (Repost)

Striving for coolness

My Dear Sillies,
Please forgive my periodic re-posts. I figure that having blogged for 8 years, I've earned the rights. Some of you are so loyal (e.g., Alex), you've seen this before. But it's been 6 years and didn't get many views. So I'm re-posting a snippet from a fun (and exhausting) summer camp experience.
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   They comprise a stigmatized yet ever-increasing segment of our population. Nothing but a twist of genetic fate brings on a developmental disability. (Though we are inundated with concepts about the causes of autism, none of these hypotheses has been proven.) There is no known cure, and symptoms last a lifetime.
   Fortunately, some laws and systems address this groups’ special needs. For one, Ronald McDonald Charities offers camp experiences wherein kids and adults with developmental delays can be themselves and have a great time.
   Fortunately, the campers offered at least as much laughter as they posed challenges. I was fueled by their uninhibited randomness and spunk. (Sporadic doses of hot chocolate helped too.)
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Here are 10 HIGHLIGHTS from the session. [Names have been changed to protect their identities.]
1)  When we first met, camper Traci sized me up (literally). “Wow, you’re short. But I don’t mean to make assumptions.”
 --
2) In the middle of outdoor activity time, Jimmy casually dropped onto the grass at my feet for meaningful dialogue:
“Ekxy6tynmypsi, how 'bout you?” he asked.
“Oh yes, how about you?” I replied.  
This exchange repeated itself approximately 23 times.
 --
3) While walking to Eagle Lake, Karl ranted about “sh’mucks, sh’mucks, sh’mucks!” I was tempted to commiserate via explicit detail regarding all the sh’mucks I’ve encountered in this lifetime, but – as a chipmunk crossed our path- I astutely realized he was likely referencing those little critters. Phew. Good thing I maintained a professional stance.
 --
4) At the lake, I laid Annie’s towel across a beach chair, adjusted the chair, and told her to try it out. She stretched out on it.
“How does that feel, Annie?”
“It feels like a million bucks!”
 -- 
5)  “Okay ladies, let’s drink some water before we leave for arts and crafts,” I suggested.
“Yeah,” Carrie quickly agreed. "If you don’t drink enough water, you’ll get hibernated."
 -- 
6)   As Helen dashed out of the cabin to join the group, she bounced with a mixture of cheer and hypochondria. “I need to go to the nurse! I just popped my knee!”
 -- 
7) In all of her glorious drama, Traci asserted, “Girls can be so dramatic sometimes!”
 --
      8) Readying herself to take some pictures of the, cabin group, Becca concentrated on highly scientific calculations: “I’ll take half of the group in one shot and then the other half in another picture. Half plus half equals two and a half.”

 9)  Traci advised the group on Justin and Selena:
“Justin Bieber is 17 and he’s dating Selena Gomez. She’s 18. That’s very bad. They are setting a bad example of teenage dating.”
10)   On the last morning, with sadness pervading the campsite, Becca hung onto me for minutes with a silently somber hug. Suddenly, she blasted my eardrum, shouting “Red Robin!”

Kudos to the campers and their families for facing life with gumption, love and cheer!  They're an inspiration! (I'm glad to see Camp Ronald McDonald is still going strong these days.)

Take good care of yourselves.
Love, smiles, & coolness or heat (whatever's most needed) to you.

37 comments:

  1. Far more intelligent conversational snippets than I have come across in the last year or so. I notice you did NOT get your hair wet!

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    1. I didn't. I like to swim without getting my hair wet, Wilma - not because I'm pretentious about my hair, but because I don't like dunking my whole face in the water.

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  2. I drink plenty of water, so no danger of hibernation here!

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    1. That's a good thing, Alex. We'd miss you if you hibernated.

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  3. I don't drink enough water so I'm probably "hibernated."

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    1. Well, this way, you'll get a lot of paintings finished.

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  4. Traci doesn't seem too bright - but I don't mean to make assumptions,

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    1. Haha, it was hard not to laugh when she said that. Not too bright, but a big-hearted assumption dodger.

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  5. I am pretty certain that Jimmy has moved over here. Where is a babel fish when you need it.
    Loved this - and thank you.

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    1. My advice: Keep nodding. Jimmy will eventually need some sleep.
      You're welcome.
      Be well.

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  6. I love the"not making assumptions" quote...hahahaaa that one would work on my mom as well. My dad, who was quite intelligent but taken out of school by grade 4. And grew up in an area known for u inquest phrasing, would say Hycoprit instead of hypocrites and disingrate instead if disintegrate.

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    1. I like "disingrate." Sounds like a word you'd get punched in the nose for saying. Not to make assumptions.
      Thanks, Birgit.

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  7. In the picture you have three hands. Is that about average? Red Robyn, I like that.

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    1. Yeah, sometimes it takes a third, bigger, more manly one, Jono. You know what I mean?
      Smiles.

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  8. My 5 to 6 liters a day will keep the hibernation away. Doesn't Bieber set a bad example for everyone?

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    1. Good point, Pat. One thing Bieber's good at: lowering the bar after making a clown of himself in it.

      Glad you're well hibernated, Pat. Blogland wouldn't be the same otherwise.

      Delete
  9. Ah, sweet memories of special summer camps. I was a counselor for years. One of my favorite quotes while we rode a camp bus into Mid-Town Manhattan for a visit to NBC Studios: "The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway lost its mittens? NOOOOOOO. The three little kittens."

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    1. Haha. Silly. You must've been such a fun counselor.

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  10. Red Robin - how fun and worthwhile. I'll now think of chipmunks as Sch'mucks from now on. Great snippets and good work. I enjoyed this re-post for the first time. Glad for summer reruns

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    1. Thank you, Joanne.
      I still don't know the difference between squirrels and chipmunks, so I'll refer to all of them as sch'mucks. That'll work.

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  11. Funny post; I didn't see it the first time!!

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  12. I never went to camp....it wasn't my thing. You love kids so much though, you might wanna look into volunteering at Camp Winnirainbow in Humboldt County. Wavy Gravy has run it for years for underprivileged kids. He teaches them circus arts and so forth.

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    1. Wait, I know (or know of) Wavy Gravy. Thanks for the recommendation, JoJo. Sounds fun.

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  13. My repair guy thought I sized him up yesterday when I said he must've drawn the short straw to come install window units at my house while we're waiting for the A/C to be repaired because he said, "Yeah, my whole family is short." Love ya, my friend!

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    1. Ah, I like that guy. Send him over here. Love you too, my friend!

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  14. "If you don’t drink enough water, you’ll get hibernated." HAHAHA! That is cute. Sounds like such a wonderful time.

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    1. It is cute. It was a lot of work, but their quirks and humor made it worth it.
      Thanks, Martha.

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  15. I am happy you reposted that because it's really a fun read. Yes, you are so entitled to do some reposts. I am far more impressed that you repost rather than be like me and occasionally just have to break away for awhile and regroup.

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    1. That's kinda why I repost, Cheryl. I call it "Blogger's Block." Also, though, I have no new dating stories. That's a good and bad thing.
      Thank you for your kindness.

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  16. What a great experience for the campers, and for you, as well. Sweet quotes. I enjoyed reading this post. Not a rerun for me, it seemed brand new! :) Thank you for having a big heart and being willing to work at the camp. I'm sure you brought a lot of joy and fun to the campers and to their families.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Connie.
      A great weekend to you.

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  17. I think I remember this one.
    Some nuggets of gold in there - “Girls can be so dramatic sometimes!” - Never a truer word uttered haha.

    Thanks for sharing!
    xo
    (and I agree - all that content-most have forgotten or never seen).

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    1. Those girls: DRAMA QUEENS, every one of us!!!!
      Smiles.
      Thanks, Anthony. xo

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  18. Hi, Rawknrobyn! I hopped over from Pat Hatt's blog today. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, rewrite or not ~ It's new to me! thank you for resharing!

    I taught in an elementary school for 25 years and worked with a lot of children who had various developmental and physical disabilities, so I got a kick out of the comments you shared. One of my favorites that I received over the years was from a little girl with challenging learning disabilities. I was chatting with her as I walked our class to art. I was stuttering and stammering over "anemones" as in "sea anemones," which for some reason I always have trouble pronouncing. She observed, "Wow, I bet you have trouble saying "cinnamon" too!" So perceptive! Because, for some reason I have trouble saying "cinnamon" also! I think of her and laugh every time I say those words.

    All kiddos are amazing! Have a good one!

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    1. Haha! That's hilarious.
      Thanks so much, Fundy. I really appreciate your dropping by. I'm not nearly as consistent of a blogger as you and Pat, but I do what I can to keep it going. I was having a hard time pronouncing "anemones" in my head too, as I read that. "Cinnamon," I can say. But "an-e-mo-nes?" Hm, that's tricky.

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  19. I was here!!! ... and I love it here ... smiles ... meouw ... Love, cat.

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