"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
- Mohandas K. Gandhi
Our voyage to Camp Horizon in Colorado will be very different from Diversity Project trips of the past. In the past years, we have visited historical sites. And, Diversity Scholars have been asked to look inward at themselves and the ways we are alike and different.
This year, we will be looking outward to experience those differences.
This year, we will be serving as caregivers of autistic children. Earlier this year, we spent a weekend at Timberpointe Camp in Bloomington, and we were able to get a backseat view of how to care for children with autism.
At Timberpointe, we met a mother of twin boys - one autistic and one not.
We learned how the boys’ lives are different, and how their mother has the same dreams for both of their futures.
At Camp Horizon, we will be the caregivers for these kids. Providing them with the one-on-one care they deserve will just be one of the tasks we will have while at the camp.
Many of these children have not been away from home or to a camp. They will have the opportunity, with our help, to experience many activities that traditional campers do - horseback riding, swimming, arts and crafts, and campfires.
A successful camp experience will give them confidence and well-being. A successful camp experience will help give their parents confidence in their children’s abilities and hope for their futures.
Working at this camp will be mentally and physically exhausting. During the weekend at Timberpointe, we learned it is difficult to find the best way to communicate with the children you are working with.
It is physically exhausting to chase the kids from place to place and follow children who only want to do an activity for a short period of time.
We learned you must always put their needs over your own needs.
It will be wonderful to be able to serve, yet we will need to take risks to succeed.
Only by taking these risks and giving of ourselves, will we find ourselves.
The McLean County Diversity Project
May 24, 2009
McLean County Diversity Project c/o Jeffrey A. Schwartz PO Box 58 Downs, IL 61736
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Copyright 2012 McLean County Diversity Project