Oh my, camp is 1 week from over, and I haven't gotten my blog entry. Wow - well I'd better get on it.
First, let me say thank you to all of you parents who graciously let me get to know your children. What a wonderful bunch! Each is so unique and amazing. I love listening to their conversations and marvel at their opinions - some more than others and the unique perspectives they bring. I know that at any given time in the future these will be the kids who change the world in large ways or small. They will be the ones that think outside the box and come up with solutions that people could not even imagine. They will be the innovators, the creators, and the problem solvers. They will know how to meet opposition because they fight every day of their lives to learn to read.
Please understand me, I exaggerate not. We, as parents of dyslexic children, twist our hand and our hearts. We cry when no one is looking because we cannot solve this problem for our children. There is no pill, no operation, no exercise that will magically fix this one. We watch them struggle and fail, struggle and succeed. We would do anything to make it easier, but there is not that we can do beyond hope that we have provided the best instruction and support that we can find. We can listen and we can reassure, but they have to do the work. And I can tell you they work hard here at camp and rarely complain. OK... well, they do sometimes complain, but they hang in there.
I have the opportunity to see the growth and the struggles. Kids leave here changed. I know my 17 (18 next week) year old son did. He came to visit this week with another friend from New Mexico who he met here at camp. They've stayed in touch, ski in the winter, and met in Albuquerque to come here to Durango to visit camp and me (I think). They arrived at breakfast early every morning. The did all of the mountain things that they love, and I think that if Sam did not have to catch a flight they would not have left. They talked about how much they loved camp. They found home, people who cared, challenges to overcome, and have made friends for life. They worked their butts off everyday whether in academic, on the mountain, in the river, or in sports. They put out one hundred percent. They learned that they could do it because they did, athletically, academically and socially. And they will never forget.
In just over a week we will pack up and leave. I will cry. My life will be as much changed by this experience as will the kids' lives. I have made some wonderful new friends in our staff and deepened many other important friendships. I have grown closer to children I met last year and gotten to know the new students. I have learned and become better at my craft. I have had fun. My life has been changed by the people I have had the opportunity to spend the last 6 weeks of my life with. Durango Mountain Camp is a gift for all of us. I look forward to seeing many of you next week and hear stories of your children's great success for year to come.