By David Messinger, Camp Counselor, Double H Ranch
Writing about the Double H Ranch – what it is and what it means to me – is a daunting task. There is just so much that happens and so many amazing feelings that are associated with Double H for me.
This is my fourth summer as a counselor and this year we are celebrating the Double H’s 20th anniversary. We have a saying here at camp, “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it and from the inside looking out you can’t describe it.” Despite this saying, I am going to do my best.
As I type this, I am sitting in my room at rest time during the 10th annual Camp Inspiration. Camp Inspiration is how the summer programing at Double H begins. It’s a session for children on ventilators, and the most medically intense session we have. It’s also the most inspiring.
I was just up in the stage area and heard someone playing a guitar. Not knowing who was playing, I had to listen because it sounded so good. It was a camper, on a full ventilator, playing the guitar. Another counselor was recording it for him in order to mix and master. Looking at this child, who is wheelchair-bound and has a machine breathing for him, you never would have guessed that he was capable of playing a guitar and drawing people in to listen, inspiring all who heard.
It’s only the second day of the session and already I have seen each of the 13 campers who are here this week smile and laugh. My camper is a first-time camper who is a little shy. He wouldn’t dance earlier – wanting just to sit in his chair and read a book. But we lifted the chair, with him in it, and danced with him in the chair. He loved every second of it, giggling and smiling – it brought him a new found joy he hadn’t experienced.
This session is a bit different than the rest of the summer because there are so few kids here and their parents also stay with them. My kid’s mom had the biggest smile and was also laughing while watching us dance with him sitting in a chair unwilling to get up and do it on his own. He also loves Bigfoot and we found Bigfoot tracks today and yesterday.
Although the official camp theme this week is, “The Beach,” my camper’s theme is finding Bigfoot. The look on his face when we saw the first tracks was priceless.
Palio is participating in @SocialMadness and has chosen Double H as the not-for-profit they will donate the winnings if they are one of the 3 national champions. Social Madness, launched by The Business Review, and parent company American City Business Journals, measures the growth of each participating company’s presence across LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Here’s how you can help Palio help Double H. Like Palio’s Facebook page; follow them on Twitter @paliosaratoga; and, connect with their corporate page on LinkedIn. And, if you already do all of the above, vote for Palio in the medium companies category at SocialMadness.com.
I was asked to write about 500 words for this blog and I am already at 460 and have only shared about a day and a half of one session. This is why it is so hard to explain what happens here at the Double H. Too many amazing things each and every day. Hopefully I will be asked to write again and the next time I can get into our traditional summer camp and how amazing those seven sessions are during the summer.
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