Team Up is a great way to get kids outside and playing when they might not otherwise have the opportunity. Experience has taught us firsthand that not all playgrounds (most, in fact) are not accessible — although that is becoming more of a thing, to our delight.
Over the course of the past week, Namine has gotten to try a wide variety of activities, all made accessible for her and other children like her.
We, as a family, don’t really golf. It’s never really appealed to Jessica or myself, although we do like a good game of mini-golf. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many places that offer a wheelchair-accessible version of it. (We did go mini-golfing in Tennessee, but we definitely had to improvise.)
When it comes to sports, Namine is an equal-opportunity player. She loves it, no matter what. So when she was offered the opportunity to play some golf, she was more than happy to try it out!
Okay, so Namine didn’t actually go horseback riding this year. (She did a couple years ago, and she didn’t care for it too much.) That’s okay though, because she was still content to pet the horse from the comfort of her wheelchair.
If there was one thing Namine could do every day, given the choice, it would be swinging. Unfortunately, the fragile state of her legs and hips means that she can’t sit in a typical swing. The swing at Team Up for Camp, however, had several advantages.
First off, it was low enough so that Namine could transfer into it from her wheelchair (provided someone held it still for her). Next, it was wide enough for her to sit comfortably. Lastly, it had two sets of straps: one for her waist, and another for her legs.
Of all the things Namine got to do at camp this year, the swing was the one that she came back to every day this week.
Building and painting
Not all activity at Team Up! was physically demanding. Namine got to do some arts and crafts, too. She blew through a cut up soda bottle to make a cool design with paint. She also built a bank shaped like a schoolhouse. ?
One evening after camp, a very excited Namine told me that she’d tried rock climbing again. She’s tried it a few times before, and it hasn’t always gone her way.
This time, at least, Namine let her camp buddies (the adults helping her) get her into the harness. She hadn’t made it very far up the rock wall when she changed her mind and asked to be let back down — but she tried it. That alone is enough, and it’s worth being proud of.
Namine is no stranger to petting zoos. She loves animals and she loves the opportunity to feed them, too! She was enamored in particular with the baby ducks. She didn’t want to let them go, but neither did they seem inclined to leave her embrace. ?
There were a lot more things Namine got to try, too. She climbed across an obstacle course, rolled herself inside a giant inflatable hamster wheel, wheeled herself under a parachute while everyone else flapped it — and helped flap it while others ran and wheeled under it — and much more besides. Namine had a grand time at camp. She was sad when it ended, as all things must. She looks forward to next year!
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