I drop him off at 9 in the morning and pick him up at 3 in the afternoon. He spends the day playing baseball, boxing, walking, dancing the mambo. He’s given lunch and a snack, a complimentary insulated water bottle with his name on it. A physical therapy student is assigned to be at his side all day, to make sure he doesn’t fall and to cheer him on. She greets us when we arrive.
Not being a mother, I wonder if this is what its like to drop your kid off at camp. The distracted waving goodbye, the cars lined up in the circle at drop off and pick up time.
It’s Hal’s second year of movement camp, a weeklong program organized by Arcadia University’s physical therapy department. The camp is something he looks forward to even though it is challenging to be moving all day. He’s tired in the evening, more than he usually is, but it’s worth it. He’s learned how to move better and to pace himself. Last year he discovered the walking poles at camp and he’s been using them ever since.
At the end of the week there’s a party with cake, fruit salad, sandwiches and drinks. The participants stand up and thank the students and, in turn, the students thank the participants. There’s a feeling of comradery and celebration, a sense of accomplishment. The party ends with a group dance (with only one minor fall), followed by a group photograph. Some weren’t sure if they could do it, keep up the pace all week. But they did. They not only made it, they triumphed.