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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5 Days Of.... Blog Hop!! Day 3

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Hello Again,
I am back with day 3 of campschooling as we continue to sail along on the TOS Crew 5 Days Of.... blog Hop!  Today we are going to talk about the aspect of camping and how it helps children with special needs. 
My 2 youngest sons have Asperger's Syndrome and OCD and the youngest suffers from anxiety issues as well. Since we started camping 4 years ago on a regular basis the boys began to overcome some of their deficiencies. When we began homeschooling they really started to blossom and when you add the two together, camping and homeschooling they are completely different boys. Up at camp they are so much more calmer, they get along so much better, I think this is in part to no outside influences of the couple friends they do have and no video games and also they do not have the ability to just go to their room and hide from the world. Camping in a 33 ft camper with several people forces them to interact with others and compromise on activities that everyone has to do.  
The other important aspect has been that they have begun to feel more comfortable seeking out others for help or just to chat. This has been so refreshing especially with my youngest, Taylor. He is more of a shy quiet type and wants everyone to think, talk and do for him because it is so much easier. Since homeschooling he has gotten a little bit better but after camping this year started he has blossomed so much more than I could have imagined. Recently we went to a restaurant near camp and there was a clown making balloons characters, he wanted one and went to go in the other room all by himself. This in itself was huge but it is what happened next that truly amazed me. He sat at the table after his creation was made and kept saying how he would like to learn how to do that, the next thing you know he is not at the table and we thought he had gone to use the restroom. All of the sudden we heard him from the next room, he had gone to the clown and asked her to show him step by step how to make a balloon creation. This picture shows him deeply focused learning to make a sword. 

That was all it took, he was hooked. The next day we looked high and low and landed at hobby lobby for twister ballooons and a pump. He spent the whole day learning how to make several animals courtesy of youtube. Later that night was karaoke at The Dome. He made himself a Tip jar and set up a table to make animals for all the kids. To see him beam with pride as the children were amazed at his abilities was something I cannot describe into words. It simply melted my heart. He only made a quarter but he was so proud of himself.  Later that evening the park manager came up to him to tell him what a good job he was doing and she said she had a book on ballooon characters in her car, we asked if we could borrow it to make copies and she told him he could keep it. He smiled ear to ear. 
A year ago he would not have even tried to accomplish such a thing as he would have been afraid of the balloons popping and he most certainly would not have put on a "show" for a crowd. He is now excited to sit by me at the craft show to sell his creations. 
Alyx is looking forward to a friend from our co-op coming up to camp next week, this in itself is huge as he has never really had friends let alone look forward to spending time with them and its a girl. He is turning 14 this year and has finally started to notice that girls exist it is rather funny. He has also shown interest in volunteering at camp with the activities department and maybe next year maybe getting hired part time for the summer while we are at camp. He shows initiative to help out fellow campers in need of help. Like carrying their groceries from their car to their campers, helping to do things that are hard for older campers like the cranks for the jacks and all the lines that need to be connected to set up.
It makes me so proud and thankful to see my kids enjoying the time we have up here and making good use of their time. 
I think it has something to do with the water flowing down the lake or the mere serenity of the atmosphere up here that makes them calm and able to accomplish so much while we are up here. I know I feel it as well. Without the added stress of "life" at home I feel better physically and mentally. I hope by the end of the Summer I will have more praise reports to write about. I am hopeful that the boys continue to blossom.



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1 thoughts shared:

Vickie said...

That is totally awesome!!!! I know I feel the peace and tranquility when we go camping but I never would have thought to calm those AS issues. WOW!!! I'd be RVing for always (did you know one of our crewmates is a full time RVer? :)