Monday, October 11, 2010

Cradle Beach

Hi everyone!
I wanted to share with all of you what I did this weekend.  I went to this place in Angola, NY called Cradle Beach.  Cradle Beach is mostly used during the summer for as a sleepaway summer camp for children with disabilities.  But during the year they open it up on certain weekends and have respites where people both young and old with disabilities come and interact with the respite workers and spend the weekend doing a variety of activites.  I was a summer camp counselor there all summer so on the weekends that they have respites I go there to help entertain and work with disabled people.  To qualify to be a respite camper a person must not live on their own or in a group home so they have to be taken care of by a family member or a friend or they have to have an IQ less than 60.  I spent the weekend with many different people that had variety of disbilities.  Throughout the weekend we carved pumpkins, had a Buffalo Sabres party, did arts and crafts, played on the play ground and many other things.  We celebrated halloween and the fall with making paper masks, tracing leaves, and taking nature walks a long paths in the forests.
This is a picture of one of the respite campers that I worked with his halloween mask on.  Because of HIPAA laws we can not publish pictures of the campers without parent consent.  It's hard to explain exactly what we did without showing everyone so I can show this picture because this particular camper's face is covered with the halloween masks we made.  Every camper got a chance to make a paper mask to wear to our halloween costume party and to take home.

This picture shows all the pumpkins that the campers painted and carved throughout the weekend.  After carving the pumpkins we all sorted the seeds and went back into the kitchen and taught everyone how to make pumpkin seeds.  We allowed all the campers to be actively involved with putting salt on the seeds, putting them in the oven, timing how long they cook for, then serving them.  All the campers were not only proud of how good their pumpkins turned out, but they also we so happy that they made the pumpkin seeds.

Every night after dinner we would take the campers out to the back of the camp to see the sunset across the lake.  It was something that they looked forward to every night and it brought a smile to everyone's faces.  It moment like that which put everything in perspective and reminds us of how lucky we are to have a job where we can provide people with memories like these that they will always cherish.  Working with people that have disabilities is not always easy, but it is one of the most personally rewarding and feel good things that you can do.  This is what I spent my summer as well as this weekend doing.

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME post! It caught my eye and I really enjoyed reading about what you did. I live in Angola and I never knew that they had this!