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15 Nov, 2023
The outdoor camp experiences offered at The Tops, often give people opportunities to push their limits, both physically and mentally. Our outdoor educators share moments with guests—of all ages and stages of life—where they experience something that they didn’t think they could.
Some children and youth who come on camps, come with physical impairments or disabilities that may be seen to limit their abilities to get involved in some of the activities. But camp activities are intentionally tailored in such a way as to help give them opportunities that they may not think they can participate in.
Mia is a beautiful young girl who is legally blind. Yet with the support of her teachers and her guide, Abbey, she was able to participate in everything that camp had to offer. One of the most significant moments that her guide Abbey witnessed was during a kite making activity. Mia wasn’t able to see the kite in the air, but she could feel it moving by the way the wind pulled against the strings.
Similarly, Harry, another camp-goer is visually impaired, but he was keen to participate in all camp had to offer.
With careful assistance, Harry was hooked into the Giant Swing and was encouraged on by his classmates who helped to haul him up into the sky. He also climbed to the top of the vertical cluster—with his mates giving instruction on where to hold and where to put his feet as he climbed. At the carts track, Harry couldn’t see where to go, but that wasn’t going to stop him. His teacher pushed him around the track a few times until he felt the turns and straits become familiar. Then he took off and raced around the track by memory of where he’d been which is an extraordinary achievement. At the archery range, Harry was excited to shoot some arrows despite not being able to see the target. With some coaching from his guide, Harry was firing arrows and even hitting the target.
Both these children’s experiences at camp show that learning and growing is limitless if we allow ourselves to learn from and lean on others, have courage and persistence. It also teaches us empathy and understanding of others, compassion and teamwork and seeing things from another’s perspective.