On the week of June 11th Conner volunteered for the 3rd consecutive year to assist children at the Muscular Dystrophy Summer Camp in Randleman North Carolina, where he worked one on one with kids with muscular dystrophy.
Conner has been a camp counselor for Jack Bolten for the past 3 years. The beginning of camp starts and the kids arrive with first day gitters. “But we as counselors are here to reassure them that we are there to make their experience great” Conner said. The week consists of fishing, staying up late, crafts, more fishing, and creating memories. Jack’s favorite camp activity is fishing.
“I eagerly look forward to the next year of camp, but it is always bittersweet. Yes, I get to see all the kids again, but you have to understand muscular dystrophy is a degenerative disease. So next summer, they may need more help than they do now.
The last night of camp is always the best night. The camp holds a farewell dance. The kids who are 17 and are graduating camp, give a speech. They share their stories and memories. They share how MDA camp is the best week of their lives. When these kids are at public school they might know another kid who has muscular dystrophy, but for the most part, they are surrounded by people who can’t relate to what they go through.
When they come to MDA camp it is 1 week a year where they can relate to everyone around them. Being a part of this program and the experience is truly humbling. It makes you appreciate all of the little things.
Me and some of the other counselors would wake up in the morning and work out before I would wake Jack up and get him ready for the day. I felt a little bit of guilt as I did this. It would be in the back of my mind that he isn’t able to move in the same way. Movement is something people so often take for granted.
I am very grateful to get the chance to know Jack. He is one amazing kid.”
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