Last weekend we had the opportunity to go to Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life threatening illnesses and their families. It's located on a Sebago Lake in Maine. It was a wonderful experience. Emmett and Clayton both made lots of friends. 70 volunteers from across the northeast came to host the camp. The weekend was full of lots of fun activities including swimming, ping pong, air hockey, pool, arts and crafts, Frisbee golf, miniature golf, and much, much more. The ice skating rink wasn't frozen yet, and the lake activities were closed for the winter, but there was still plenty to do.
Here's Emmett enjoying some time by the lake in what turned out to be a weekend of amazing weather.
Emmett and Clayton quickly made lots of friends with the counselors. One of the most rewarding experiences as a parent is to watch other people get to know your kids and fall in love with them. And that's exactly what all these counselors did. They were so excited to get to know and love these kids with all these challenging illnesses. They'd come up to us at the end of the day and tell story after story of all the things Emmett had done or said throughout the day that were so cute or hilarious...and the same thing with Clayton. And we couldn't help but fall in love with all of them too. Here are a few of them.
And here are some of the activities we got to enjoy over the weekend.
|Clayton chowing down on popcorn.|
|Clayton enjoying kicking back on the mini golf course.|
|Emmett on the Frisbee golf course.|
|We had to get a picture with Mike and Sully!|
The weekend at Camp Sunshine culminated in a talent show put on by the cancer kids. It was one of the most awe inspiring things I've seen in my entire life. Imagine these precious children, fraught with the physical and mental challenges that accompany malignant brain cancer, climbing out of their wheel chairs and walkers to break dance and lip sync to pop songs such as "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and "this is my fight song, take back my life song" in an effort to inspire one another to keep fighting the monster of cancer that haunts them all. This was nothing less than the 'YouTube cancer kids' music videos come to life....for real. And some of the kids we saw are not expected to survive much longer. And watching them up on the stage absolutely melts your heart and breaks it at the same time. Heroes. Warriors. Angels. Precious Angels...that are facing the greatest challenges in life...greater than I can comprehend.
And to think that our precious little Emmett is one of these cancer kids. I can't dwell on the thought.
After the talent show there was a masquerade ball. Emmett has never been a dancer, but he threw on his green hat and ran out on the dance floor before we knew it. And it wasn't long before he was in the middle of it all. He ended up being the star of the show. He told me afterwards, "at first I was nervous because I don't know how to dance, but then I realized, I'm a really good dancer." All the counselors thought so too. It reminded us of the days on 9 north when Emmett would hang out at the nurses' station.
What a fun, inspiring weekend. What a wonderful opportunity for cancer kids and their families. God bless all those who donate their time, energy, and resources to lighten the burden of pediatric cancer! Go Camp Sunshine!