I can’t believe school is already starting for our kids. The Norton family has had an epic summer and I hope you have had one too. Here are a few highlights from the past 2 months: We went to Sea World, Aquatica, our Foundation Family Wheelchair Camp in Minnesota, spent time with family and friends in Iowa, watched fireworks over the Mississippi River on the 4th of July, weekend getaway to Fort Lauderdale, and celebrated 3 birthdays and 1 adoption day. I’d say we made the most of our summer vacation.
However, no trip can measure up to something as meaningful as our camp experience. It emphasizes a quote of mine, “Life is as rich as the lives you enrich.” It’s great to treat yourself but when you can also treat somebody else to something special and help them smile it just means more. I have seen this play out over and over again and even as I reflect on all of the memories created from this summer.
This June we brought together 22 families across the country who all have at least one child with a physical disability. These kids and myself know all too well what it’s like to be excluded, to feel alone, self conscious of their differences, and to be on the sidelines as a spectator instead of in the action, but not at this camp.
This year’s camp theme was “See the Possibilities” which is exactly what took place over the course of 4 days. All the campers used their unique abilities to do activities they didn’t think they could do. Like zip line, horseback ride, play laser tag, score soccer goals, and launch rockets, among many other activities. Kids who have never had a friend made lots of friends. Parents who felt they had no one else to relate to their situation or had no one to talk to found other parents to confide in. It’s a special week.
After witnessing now three different years of transformations, we are not only going to make sure to have this camp every single year in Minnesota, but the hope is to have these camps across the country in every major region. We will also work hard to make sure everyone of them are completely free for the entire family to attend. The biggest challenge is finding a camp that has enough (15 or more) ADA accessible rooms. If you think you can help fundraise or locate that campsite please feel free to reach out because we need all the help we can get!
Here is a highlight reel from camp.