Molly Mittman is a second year camper from Temple Shalom in Dallas. She is 9 years old going into the 4th grade.
My name is Molly and I am a camper at Greene Family Camp. I was born with Cerebral Palsy (CP). My CP mainly affects my balance because the muscles in my legs get tired easily. Even though I have CP, I am still just a regular camper. I have goals for myself that I want to accomplish by the end of the session. My one-on-one for the beginning of the session is Natalie. She helps me accomplish my goals and gets me involved in activities.
I like to do all the activities just like everyone else. One of my favorite activities is the zoo, because I really like animals. At the GFC zoo, we have a goose that has a misshaped foot and a deformed wing. The farmer we got the goose from did not want to give us the deformed goose, but the zoo keeper was able to get him. The zoo keeper enjoys teaching about being different through animals and people. The zoo also has puppies that I like to play with. They are cute and my favorite one is Bentley. They make me happy and are very loveable.
Another activity I tried was leading song session. The song leaders decided to have karaoke song session one night for the campers who wanted to sing. I was a little nervous before having to sing in front of the whole camp, but knowing I was going to sing with my bunkmate made me feel better. We sang ‘Follow Me to GFC’. I felt happy that I was able to sing with everyone.
One of the hardest things for me to do on camp is walking independently. I am able to practice walking without my crutches or help from an adult in the cabin (7 WHOLE STEPS SO FAR!). Around camp, I use my crutches for balance to get around. I get tired after a while because we have to walk almost everywhere. Some parts of camp are covered in rocks, which makes it even harder to balance. I walk slowly and have help from lots of adults. The leadership team helps me get around to the far places by driving me in a golf cart. It feels comfortable letting them drive me around and gives me a break from walking.
On Thursday, I went to the ropes course with my cabin for Livnot Kehilah (ropes course for the bunk). When I got to the rock wall, I thought the wall was really big; 40 feet is huge! I thought to myself, “This is going to be fun, but it’s a little bit frightening”. I knew that I had a harness so I just did it. I started to climb and had to use a different strategy to help me continue up the wall. My bunkmates helped cheer me on and find where to put my feet. Although it was hard, I managed to get to the top. At the top, I was overjoyed and a little tired. I started screaming with excitement and pride; I never thought I would be able to get to the top. Once I was down, I hugged Natalie, and the other counselors started to cry happy tears. I was so excited the rest of the night that I almost could not sleep. I ran towards people to let them know I did it. I accomplished my major goal for the summer.
I think that it is okay to be different on camp. We all have different things we need, and that does not make us any weaker than anyone else. I am having a blast at camp and think other people should try it out. I am thankful for my parents and sister for all they do, and to the staff for helping me at camp. I have made lots of life-long friends throughout the last two summers at GFC.