Youngsters with neuromuscular diseases count the days until 'the best week of the year'
Wow! Campers call MDA summer camp "the best week of the year" because the sky's the limit and anything is possible. A big reason camp is such a magical place is the friendships campers make with each other and with the helpful, caring counselors. Camp offers a chance to meet some great people — and maybe even learn new things about yourself along the way. Many campers say the week flies by, but when it's over there are photos, memories and friends to last a lifetime.
Campers aren't afraid to get a little messy discovering their artistic side. Talent shows offer another creative outlet, with kids and counselors dressing in colorful, crazy costumes and doing their best to sing, dance or act. Of course, everybody loves the dances, where campers and counselors put on their dancing shoes (and wheels) and shake things up. In between those highlights, there are campfires, scavenger hunts, nature walks, sing-alongs, games, contests and — of course — some serious hanging out.
MDA summer campers do it all — play basketball, baseball and soccer, swim, fish, canoe, ride horses and more. At camp, the word "disability" gets thrown out. Thereís something for everyone regardless of ability level. MDA staff and counselors make sure all activities are accessible and safe, so kids can dive in and participate. It's all about acceptance, patience and growth — and self-esteem skyrockets by the week's end.
Each summer, Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders and members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) bring added excitement and tons of smiles to many MDA camps. When the shiny chrome Harley-Davidsons roar into camp, campers look forward to sidecar rides and souvenirs like temporary tattoos and Harley gear. And when IAFF members roll up in their fire trucks, kids get to hang out with their lifesaving heroes. Honorary junior fire chiefs don official fire fighter gear, helmets and all. With volunteers from these leading national MDA sponsors in their camp, kids build strength and hope for the future.