My worry for my child was for physical abnormalities. If she had been born with anomalies such as mine, she would have been fine, but I was thankful that she wasn't. Of course we had the test run during my pregnancy to test for downs syndrome and other such conditions, and that was a fear as well. But I wasn't overly concerned about that either. For physical disabilities I would be able to help her and I knew people who could help Sean and I as well. For mental disabilities, we had Paul, Jessica, and Camp Caglewood.
"Caglewood is a Special Needs Camping Program that serves individuals with developmental disabilities through active programming that provides enhanced life experiences, personal development, and respite opportunities. Caglewood fosters the core development of those we serve by engaging them in activities designed to promote independence and confidence. Caglewood’s programming inspires spiritual and social development through communion with nature. A camping trip with Camp Caglewood consists of counselor planned and led activities, crafts, devotionals, hiking, camping, swimming, and various forms of physical therapy and adaptive skills training.
Caglewood is designed for both children and adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities including the autism spectrum, PDD, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Parents and caregivers send their loved ones to camp for respite care, and independence growth."
"The Caglewood program was in development for almost two years prior to the formation of the corporation in 2001. The beginnings of the Caglewood program sprouted from the experience of Jessica and Paul Freeman. Both served at the same summer camp program as counselors and program leadership while in college. Paul went on to serve on the board of the camp, and studied Special Education and facility administration while Jessica went on to work with two different brain injury programs where she performed Occupational and Art therapy. She also facilitated the move of several clients from group homes to independent living. Then working together they completed developing the Caglewood business plan and began implementing phase one in September of 2001."
Paul is one of Sean's best friends. They grew up playing football together. I am happy to claim Jessica as one of my closest friends now. She is my "mommy hero", but that's another post all on it's own.
The camp is currently up for a grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project. This is a vote driven grant opportunity, meaning everyone, you and me, have the opportunity to vote for who should get the moola each month. Paul and Jess and the other wonderful people who work with the camp submitted the camp to the program and were accepted. The voting for their round begins April 1st. We need to get everyone to vote!
The first day of voting is most important as those in the top 10 get placed on the front of the website so those who have never heard of Caglewood would be able to vote for it if we bust our booties and get them in the top 10. After that, you can vote everyday and I hope you will. Please feel free to send this on to anyone and everyone you know! Blog, facebook, twitter, myspace, email! Get the word out!
I will be posting a reminder on the 1st as well as a linky button to vote. I am also adding a linky button for donations to Caglewood. If you feel so inclined, they are a non-profit and always in need and thankful for even the smallest donations.
For now, if you feel so inclined, donate HERE.