Thursday, August 26, 2010
The camp is unique due to its targeted population of kids with social disabilities. I myself would be included due my Aspergers Syndrome. Coming to this camp quite interesting because I saw all sorts of kids suffering from similar conditions, but their behavior is very individual and unique. It was a reflecting experience for me as an aspie because I came to understand that while I'm my own special oddball, unrelatable to anyone normal or abnormal yet in the same breath connected to great degree to many of my fellow campers.
I had already made camper friends in previous years like "Eric" and "Rach"so my during duration at the camp was much easier from me. My friend "John" "whom I had meet the previous year" had originally decided not to Round Lake that year, But to my surprise and glee had returned in 2010. I also made new friends like "Daniel". "Steven", "Melinda" and "Tyler". I"m thankful that joined thankful that joined Facebook in so I could keep in touch with these amazing people.
I did some pretty cool shit during those four weeks. We swam in the lake (which is not actually round in real life), biked around the camps trails and even went to Dorney Park(!). The Consulars were mostly the UK and Israel. It was refreshing to hear Trans Atlantic opinions of my Consulars. They were very nice and I gained a degree of respect from them.Towards the end of camp, I read news reports during morning flagpole announcements. Campers and Consulars loved to hear my anecdotes ranging from politics to the Plastic Pizza they serve us for our meals.
While the majority of my experience were positive, a few were lukewarm and irritable. Sometimes I felt some of the actives we were doing were idiotic. I was reluctant to get involved them and felt demotivated at certain times. Many kids in the camp and in my Bunk were extremely naughty and annoying. The national pastime of my Bunk 8 was trying to get certain obnoxious Bunkmates to shut up. One camper's behavior was so horrendous that the Staff decided to kick him out of camp. These incidents and dilemmas could be best described as a " Mind Fuck" as former camper and friend "Mike" put it. Sometimes you love RLC with all of your heart while otherdays you want strangle it (figuratively speaking of course). My mind feels like a maze of thought following a piece of string which in this case is the pros and cons of my experience. On one hand we saw "Talladega Nights" for movie night which was hilarious, but on another movie night we watched "Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (ugh!).
But its not like I was shocked that their would inconvenience at camp as I have gone to that camp for two years beforehand this one. If these less-to-wished- for experiences taught me one thing, It would be how to cope with the shitty parts of life and try to memories of life. One experience that was touching my experience with "Steve " on the basketball court. "Steve" was acting a little of it by the middle of the third week of Camp. I inquired about this and Steve told me that he was depressed because a couple of months ago, a couple of his high school friends who were in a car together were killed in a tragic traffic and he still felt a little distraught as their anniversary creeped up. Around that time coincidentally, I found a
Jewish Orthodox prayerbook dating back to 1944. It was originally going to buried with a bunch of other identical prayerbooks in accordance to Jewish customs. However, after some negations with the camp
administrators, I was allowed to keep it due to the the fact they thought it was in good hands. I named the book Issac as it was saved from a most certain demise in the soil. It is very cool book with Prayers and Services for almost every considerable occasion( etc. There is a prayer for the event that a person sees a giant,drawf or any other oddities in nature). I showed to my camper friends including "Steve". As the my exit from camp was looming, Steve asked me if I could recite the Jewich mourner's Kaddish in requiem. Although my Hebrew is a bit rusty and it has been years since my Bar Mitzvah, agreed to do it and I preformed it on what I beileve was a Monday on the week of July 29th. I said Kaddish in a Basketball Court on RLC grounds in memory of their involvement in and love of athletics. Based on on his emotions during and after our miniservices, I get the impression that I had done "Steve" favor that I will never be able to fully comprehend. Although I did give the Kaddish on the exact deathday, I'm sure that their blissful Souls on the heveanly Astral Plane don't mind.
Recently I have been leening toward the Idea of me returning to RLC as a counselor when I;m of proper age. From my three years there I have been exposed to so many intresting and beautiful people, places, and things. They include meeting kids with disabilities you wouldn't give two cents about them in their mentally incapacitated states, but they turn out to be some of the most clever and kindest people I have ever met in 15 years of life. I feel their is so much untapped potential that we on specturum drawfs all of the normal standerds of human limits and bounds. I feel of deep connection with these campers and I feel certian duty to help these kids because I can relate to them. Maybe I could help them under go a Mental Metamorphosis and help them to reach a better tommrow. Prehaps it is naive and unrealistic goal due to my hubris that one person can succed in something so many have failed; However if weren't for all of my family and teachers that kept fighting for a little boy whom's future was uncertian, I would never be here were I am now. So I will always be dreaming the impossible dream(a nod to you "Rach")with all of my campers Past,Present and Future.
"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither."
-C. S. Lewis