Sunday, January 11, 2009


Some may say you cannot go back in time, but in my dash I say I can!! If American Idol can do it (Idol Rewind) I can to! I know I have only mentioned about my summers at Camp in the past. I did not have a scanner until last year and I had to be very selective about what photos I did end up scanning because I was using the library’s scanner. Now that I can scan any and all the pictures I wanted to do a little rewind so you could see (and with a little more detail about the weeks happenings!). I could just go back and put them on the posts from long ago but I figured they are not many people who go into the archives and just check everything. Summer camp always meant the world to me and I wanted to be sure everybody got a chance to see. So for the next 5 posts I will be giving you a look back at my time at MDA summer camp…

Before I begin talking about what happened that week I will refresh my readers about summer camp. MDA summer camp was held for individuals with Muscular Dystrophy who were between the ages 6 to 21 for a whole week. Ww would each have a counselor. There were two different sessions one for ages 6 to 12 and the other session was 13 to 21. It was held in Guthrie Oklahoma at the Oklahoma Christian Camp. At the time it was one of the most accessible and barrier free places I had ever been. It was free to campers and counselors for the week. I gained so many different things from having attended. Friendships that will never end and memories that will last forever. I met one of my closest friends during my first year at summer camp(that was 20 years ago…EEEEKS). I love you Jen! I am also still in touch with quite a few folks thanks to e-mail, myspace, and facebook. I have also gotten the joy of going to the *MDA Adult retreat that started over 2 years ago. (Many warm fuzzies Josh!!) Even though some folks have come and some folks have gone, we are always family! Camp helped my self-esteem sooo much as I was one of the majority instead of one of the minority.

I am saddened to say that my cheap camera broke the first week of camp. My friend Jen tried to send me some photos that she took but could not get them to do right. We did not have digital cameras then, and were working with the little disposable ones a lot. Here is a picture of my counselor, Kari, and I that was taken before summer camp. Kari went to the same high school as me. I was always envious of her. She was so pretty. She could make wearing a T-shirt look good! Look at her T-shirt then look at mine. They are the same shirt just different colors. (I have a post on here in 1989 that is dedicated to her.) I unfortunately do not talk to her anymore. We lost contact about 13 years ago:(

You might not be able too make out real good just by what the annual says. Since I lived in Tulsa my counselor and I loaded a bus that took us to the campsite in Guthrie. The theme that year was “Over the Rainbow”. There were different colors every day. During the middle of the week we would put on our camp T-shirts that would normally apply to the weeks theme and take a group picture by the waterfront.

(CAPTION: I am located in the back on the left side standing next to Kari. If you went to camp and can name anyone in the picture I will give you a prize, LOL!)

(CAPTION: Not too long after posting this I became friends with David D on Facebook and he posted these pics, and I stole them!! So now I have pictures to share! I had every intention of putting them on here before now, but you just can't rush these things!! A huge warm fuzzy goes out to David for not only sharing his pictures with me:) but for also being the person who introduced me to MDA but also to summer camp! Lots of love to you <3 u="">
At this time I was not in a wheelchair but rented one for the week. I tried not to use it all the time, and was told that I was very independent. I had a hard time asking for help. The first night we were there we watched “The Wiz” with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. I think we all gave it a big two thumbs down. On the first full day I got the bonehead award. The bonehead was like a headband with a bone sticking out of each end. You had to wear it all day and not be caught without it otherwise you would have to go around the mess hall as everyone sang a song as you went. The bonehead award was just given if someone (normally a counselor) did something clueless! I locked myself in the bathroom accidentally at the MDA office as we were coming to camp! It was funny and I was glad that everybody else could find the humor in it and not be hesitant to giving it to me. What a way to start out your first year of summer camp than by getting the bonehead award (I think this was the last year they did that too)! We also gave out warm fuzzies, which are complements given to anyone (everyone got one) from anyone (they still do that). I cannot forget the many hug-a-thons we had throughout the week. Besides family members hugs were not a normal in part at all in my daily life. When we first did a hug-a-thon I was a little overwhelmed with all of the hugs I was getting! By the end of the week it was one of my favorite things. Camp would not be camp without camp songs! They were the best! Majority of our early afternoons were spent at the waterfront trying to fish (mostly the guys did that) , canoe, or do the paddle boat’s. Afternoon’s we would go to the swimming pool. Camp was on Fourth of July this year so we watched fireworks, ate ice cream, and had watermelon! On one of the night’s we had a talent show. The talent shows were always a big deal because they were hilarious not to mention that some people really did have talent (that does not include me). This year the skit that sticks out in my mind was the one where Eric D. and Heath T. dressed up like a lion (Eric was the head and Heath was well you know!), and the rest of their boys cabin sang, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”! It sticks out for 2 reasons: 1. I was rolling, and 2. THEY USED MY SHEET TO BE THE LION!!!

(CAPTION: I am not too sure if this was the actual skit, but nonetheless it cracks me up!)

(CAPTION: This is the skit where someone keeps their arms to their side and someone behind them is their arms! Done by counselors. Wish I could tell what they were making them eat, or maybe I don't want to know, EWWW!!)

(CAPTION: I have tried several times to move the pic on the right. I thought I was moving it up the first time and then in stayed stuck where it is at, ugh! I am not computer literate, and have horrible mouse control thanks to my ataxia. So that pic will be sitting pretty right where it's at! And Greg and George do not seem to mind as they are the only person looking at the camera!)  I do not know how but I got it kinda fixed:)

Talented friends would end the talent show by singing “Friends” by Michael W. Smith. They handed out awards and I got one. Don’t kid yourself it was not for my talent but because I had the best Dorothy hairdo (hence the theme)!

One of the days they had a carnival where you could go to different stations and do different things. One of the things was that they held mock marriages! Yes, I got mock married! The lucky guy was Heath. He is the goof in the group photo who is hanging from the tree. Below is a copy of our marriage license and the ring that he designed for me out of yellow pipe cleaner! Now that is love! But the love did not last long for I have not heard from him in about 13 years!! HOW RUDE!!!! I would love to hear from him again and ask him what went wrong!

(CAPTION: Noo, Kari and Greg did not get mock married!! However, if I remember correctly Greg did have a schoolboy crush on Kari! You can kind of tell it to by the big cheese on his face, LOL!)

There was a dance the last night there. All of the girl campers were asked to be dates with guy counselors and the same thing with guy campers and girl counselors. This was a big deal because campers find it very rare in getting the attention from the opposite sex. My date this year was of course my mock husband Heath! We danced with everyone though. This is where I experienced my first slow dance or just a dance period. One of the songs I remember dancing to was “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx. I was dancing with a very cute guy named Wes and he kissed me on the cheek. I will never forget that and think of that every time I hear that song.

(CAPTION: It was common for us ladies to pose for pics outside by the trees, great greenery, or in front of the cabins! What Jen did not realize was that her Shaquille O'Neal shorts would not be that years fashion statement!!)

Saying goodbye to everyone was the hardest, but the anticipation of the next year started as soon as we got on the bus to return.

Hope I did not bore you to tears with all of that. Going to camp was one of the greatest times. If you had an unforgettable moment at Camp or elsewhere I would like to hear?

Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S
*MDA Adult Retreat is not affiliated with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.Coming soon: MDA summer camp rewind-1990 (with more pictures!)

1 comment:

dallasnoveltydotcom said...

Holy Cow I have not heard anything about MDA Camp 1989 in forever!!! I went to camp every year from 85-91. My name is Nick Mahler. Have you been able to contact anyone else from camp?