“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
One counselor shouts encouragement to Lee as she pushes his wheelchair on the pavement in a spirograph motion. A smile illuminates across Lee’s face as he watches the artwork he’s creating with sidewalk chalk that’s fastened to his footrests. He laughs as he shouts faster, left, right, bigger, bigger, bigger!
Every eye is now captivated by Lee’s excitement, as campers and counselors from the nature trail to the playscape move closer. Creating a circle of encouragement around him. Every person is clapping and shouting, “Go Lee, go!”
Although Lee moves around using a wheelchair, his contagious smile and boasting pride show he’s just like any other kid at summer camp. He’s having fun, learning, growing and developing a sense of belonging – he’s included.
Lee has attended camp for more than a decade. Last year his mother said, “No other camp in our area provides this level of safety and inclusion. I worry about what will happen to Lee, if something happens to me. I am hopeful, because Lee’s not just attending camp. He’s building a community and support network of life-long friends.”
*Name and other details are disguised to preserve confidentiality.