Monday, May 28, 2012

Children of the Season

I wanted to be a part of the Gold 1000 Composite team to serve at Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake in California to help to make a small difference in a camp that provides children in need with a carefree week.

I applaud Ronald McDonald Houses' promotion of the understanding of ethnic uniqueness and also the hardships of the youth of our country. Children with disabilities such as autism, obesity and other disabilities and syndromes deserve a safe place to call home for a week of summer fun. Camp Ronald McDonald provides this in Eagle Lake, CA.

During our time there, we were not camp counselors, we were roofers! We re-shingled a historic building with HistoriCorps, out of Denver, Colorado. For a week, we harnessed up each day and ascended the 90 degree angle roof. I wouldn't say I was graceful doing it but I got the exhilarating job done!

Since we were a new team with a new dynamic, to get to know each other more in the short amount of time given, we held 1.5 hour "Team Member Spotlights." The person the spotlight was on was able to share their life stories, reflections, desires, hardships and secrets should they choose.

Some members chose to share about childhood, school life, or their time in the program or other adventures they went on in their life.

The second half of the Spotlight session was opened for questions. Questions ranged anywhere from silly to personal, from "would you rather" to reflections of life actions. Some members were encouraged to show off their hidden talents or singing/rapping skills.

I use to go into the homes of families with my mother where she worked as a home health pediatrics nurse and I remember the smile of one little boy, Elijah, who was diagnosed with Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome, similar to Down Syndrome, at birth. Even though we didn't meet the kids at Camp Ronald McDonald, I could see Elijah's smile as I was high above the ground, restoring a 100 year old building at a camp for children like him. Children of the season.

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