We love our friends at Turning Point (www.turningpointnation.org), they have lake toys!
A few of us here at the Camp Craig Allen office spent a Saturday on Jason Swanson’s bass fishing boat acting as the “safety boat” while their big pontoon boat took tubers all over the lake. Spending the day with folks of all ages in wheelchairs and watching them experience a fast boat ride or tubing for the first time was a super fun day for all!
Jason from Turning Point also teamed up with Camp Craig Allen earlier this week at a charity golf tournament for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Two Camp Craig Allen campers, Skylar and Nick played golf, entered a putting contest (Skylar came in second place!) and drove the golf carts all over the place all day long. They just strapped up wheelchairs onto the back of golf carts and went! It was a great day with great friends!
Turning Point Nation is just one of the many collaborative partners that Camp Craig Allen works with. Visit their website at www.turningpointnation.org for upcoming activities like fishing and hunting programs for the disabled. Sharing resources and activities with organizations that share our same values of people helping people means a lot to us.
Starting this blog, we hoped to be able to share uplifting stories of hope and the people behind Camp Craig Allen. Unfortunately, some stories aren’t happy ones. And while we contemplated not sharing this story, we decided it is a true part of life. We recently lost a dear, dear friend of ours. Last week, Richard, 26, died. The only thing that helps to ease the pain and heaviness in our hearts is to know that just six weeks ago Richard was able to experience something truly wonderful. Richard went to camp!
We have prayed so hard and worked so tirelessly toward establishing a non-profit camp for adults with disabilities. In May, God answered our prayer with a temporary camp facility. This camp needed campers and this allowed us to immediately start our camp sessions, even if it wasn’t quite barrier-free yet. With lots of hard work and amazing volunteers Camp Craig Allen held its first session on June 24th.
This inaugural weekend was absolutely incredible. Richard and 16 other disable adults (ages 18-36) were able to fish, play wheelchair hockey, go swimming, enjoy camp fires and, most importantly, bonded with other people similar to them. In our first session it became clear that it wasn’t the place that was important, it was the experiences.
It was a weekend of firsts, when Steph and Arion were carried up two flights of stair by four strong fire fighters in order to go down a water slide for the first time in their lives!
It was a weekend of creativity, when Miles rediscovered his drive and passion for creating music.
It was a weekend of laughs, when the little remote control fishing boats wound up on the same frequency, with just one camper controlling two at once. We called this new sport “synchronized fishing.”
It was a weekend of pure love, when in Sunday’s church service there wasn’t a dry eye as we praised God for the ability to come together that weekend, the love of friendships and the future possibilities.
It was six weeks later, on the night of Thursday, Aug 4th, in a peaceful final breath that Richard went home to be with the Lord.
At the memorial service the following week we all came back together and celebrated his life with a profound sense of gratitude that we were able to have that weekend at camp with Richard. There are not words to describe our love for our friend, and all of us will be able to hold on to those wonderful memories for the rest of our lived. Richard will always be remembered.
Welcome to the official blog of Camp Craig Allen! Here you’ll find all the behind-the-scenes goodness of Camp Craig Allen along with inspiring stories, info on upcoming camp sessions, interesting resources and anything else we think you’d be interested in. We also want to hear your thoughts and stories, so feel free to chime in with a comment or two.
So much time and effort goes in to running a non-profit like Camp Craig Allen. Because of that, there never seems to be as much time to meet people, make friends and create memories. A blog is a perfect way to stay connected to those we meet and care about. It’s also great for those of you who want to stay up-to-date with what we’re doing.
Don’t stop at the blog, though! Check out our Twitter, Facebook and website (unless, of course, that’s how you found the blog, in which case, thanks “web guy!”). Also, be sure to check out our events calendar on the website, too. We’re involved with activities and events all over the Metroplex in North Texas, so stop by and say “hi.” We’d love to meet some new friends.