Let’s Talk AAC Blog: Life With Kyle

Kyle Dinwiddie shares his amazing stories every Friday for the AAC Language Lab blog.

Camp Away

Posted June 29, 2018 in Life With Kyle

By Kyle Dinwiddie, PRC Blogger

Kyle at camp

I have had many firsts this year such as graduating from high school; applying and getting accepted to Columbia College; flying on an airplane; surfing on the ocean; and finding DASA, which stands for Disabled Athlete Sports Association.

Becoming a member of DASA has given me lots of opportunities to try different types of sports such as power-chair soccer, track, rock climbing, basketball, and swimming. At one of these events, I learned that they have a summer camp called Camp We Can Du. It sounded a lot of fun, but a bit scary because it is a sleep over camp that last for a week. While I have spent the night at lots of different places, I haven’t ever spent the night without my mom or dad. But this is a year of first, so off to camp I went. I anxiously waited to go, but I had no idea what to expect. The list of things to pack was kind of interesting such as bed sheets, a fan, and clothes you don’t mind getting ruined. That worried me a little, what kind of place is this and what will I be doing that may ruin my clothes? Both my parents went to camp when they were kids, and shared their camp experiences with me, but I still didn’t know what to expect.

Then finally it was time. I was all packed and ready to go. After my dad put the directions in the GPS, off we went. And two and a half hours later, we arrive at Camp We Can Du. After finding my cabin and getting unpacked, my parents and I had our last meal together. It was hard for my mom and dad to say goodbye. And I had to admit I was still a little nervous about the whole thing myself, but right away I started making lots of new friends.

Kyle and his new friends

And my cabin of teen boys was awesome. There were some interesting characters in my cabin. One guy wore his hat backwards and played music on his phone day and night. He reminded me of a DJ. Another guy with his legs dangling off his power chair was always on the go. He looked like he could slide right out of his chair. His nickname was Speedy which I thought was perfect because the guy was always on the go, and he was very fast in his power chair. Then there was this guy with a muscular disability named Riley that soon became a good friend to me. Our cabin had three counselors, Andrew, Ashley, and Lorenzo. They watched over each of us and took good care of us. I quickly considered them great friends. The first night, we had a giant dance party. It was awesome! And my adventures didn’t stop there, I did archery, tree climbing, swimming, kayaking, horseback riding, scuba diving, golfing, and biking.

I went down a water slide where at the bottom of it I had to hold my breath when I was dumped into a pool of water. It was so much fun that I did it again and again. I was totally creamed by Jell-O during a Jell-O shot fight. I even asked a girl to be my date for a dance party with a bus that shot out glow-in-the-dark-bubbles everywhere. One day we went to Six Flags, and then another day we went to a theater to watch Incredibles 2. We, also, played lots of team sports. For example we played a game with sponges where we had to run and pick up a sponge with water, and run back to your bucket, squeeze the water in your bucket, and tag another person.

As you know I love food, and to my surprise camp food was very tasty. One time my cabin was in charge of making breakfast for the entire camp. My job was cracking the eggs. I cracked what felt like hundreds of eggs.

Kyle and friend

And on the last day of camp, there was a huge slip-n-slide where we were sprayed with chocolate syrup and powdered sugar. It was awesome. I held my mouth open in hopes of getting it filled with chocolate.

My week was full of adventures, and I had so much fun that I am unable to share all my memories. Every time I think I have shared them all, I remember another one. Like the time when I really needed some coffee.

Here’s a shout out to my friend, Lauren, who brought me some. Thank you, Lauren! You were my lifesaver!

I know my parents were very nervous about me going to camp by myself, but I am glad that I did it. I met so many wonderful people. And I can’t wait to do it again next year. It can be scary to do something for the first time. But if we let our fear keep us from doing it, we could be missing out on an awesome adventure. I like what Franklin D Roosevelt said, “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

So if you get an opportunity to try something new, just DO IT!

This is Life with Kyle and I will talk to you next week.

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