Oh nooo, ASB trip over

Just like everyone else on the team, I can’t believe our week in Camp Baker is over and that we’ve now been back on College Hill for over a week. How can I properly sum up such a great week (if that’s even possible)?


Working at Camp Baker was definitely challenging at times, especially in the beginning when we didn’t have any guidelines about how to best structure the wellness and arts and crafts activities. Luckily, we were able to learn from our mistakes during the beginning of the week to make the activities better structured for the campers. The changes made a difference and everyone really benefited!


One of the highlights of my week was getting to know one of the weekend respite and afternoon campers named Ian. We arrived at Camp Baker on Saturday night and Sunday morning we were told to interact with the campers the next morning. I met Ian by chance. With him he had his sleep away duffel all packed and his favorite Disney toys. When I met him, he continually mumbled the same few lines over and over. I recognized that he was repeating a movie trailer because I picked up the words “coming to DVD and VHS soon.” Over the next hour or so I sat with him as he kept repeating the same few lines. Eventually, we walked to the basketball court and then to the sidewalk chalk. He set his stuff done, picked up a piece of chalk, handed it to me, pointed at the ground, and started talking. I started writing what he said and would have him repeat it until I could understand it. The first part he said was “Walt Disney Pictures presents feature.” Then came a breakthrough in a sense. I was able to finally understand that Walt Disney Pictures presents feature…Lilo and Stitch 2. Now on DVD and VHS”


I was overjoyed when I figured out he was talking about the movie trailer for Lilo and Stitch. I had spent the entire morning with him, and finally understood what he was saying, which was a minor step to better understanding what he was thinking.


The next day, when Ian came to Camp Baker for afternoon care, I saw him again. I don’t remember how it came about, but when I saw him I pulled up Lilo and Stitch Youtube video clips on my phone, which he loved. He would sit in the swing and watch the video clips every afternoon. At first he didn’t know how to use an iPhone—the correct pressure to apply to the touch screen, how to navigate, etc.—but by the end of the week he had figured it out all on his own. He would also interact more with me while using my iPhone. He asked for help when he needed it and responded to my questions more. When my iPhone died, it was harder to communicate with him because he returned to his continued mumbling.


Ian is such a cool kid. He loved Disney and everyone could tell that he was very smart and creative. I feel so lucky to have met him.  The Zac Brown lyrics still stick in my head when I think of spring break in Virginia: “It’s funny how it’s the little things in life/That mean the most/Not where you live or what you drive/Or the price tag on your clothes/There’s no dollar sign on a piece of mind/This I’ve come to know.”

It really is the little things, like meeting Ian and figuring out how he loves Lilo and Stich, that I have come to realize mean so much. I feel so fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to go to Camp Baker and meet the ASB Virginia team. Thanks for everything!

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