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  • Naomi Brubaker

2 Dogs and a Lullaby- Adapted Camp Update

Updated: May 16

The adaptive camp was everything we imagined and planned it to be.  The families joyfully arrived and were greeted by their buddies and bonds were quickly made.  The food was enjoyed by everyone, especially the special parent meal.  Activities were full of energy and tons of fun.  The bible study time, both for the kids and the adults, was impactful.  God worked in the details and we know the unseen work was just as fruitful.  God took time during meals, adult bible study time and late evening chats to give the parents a place to be heard and to connect.  Stories were shared about the impact of their child’s disability on their daily life, church life, marriage and dreams.  Families were able to see their children living under the freedom of acceptance in the environment tailored to them.  Parents left camp feeling hopeful of their childrens futures, a bit more in acceptance of the implications of their child’s disability, refreshed and with new friends. 

In the months leading up to the adaptive camp, Naomi interviewed all of the participating families with the purpose of finding out as much about their family as possible.  This information was used to plan the camp and train the buddies.  During all of these family interviews, all of the families noted their child’s love for animals, especially dogs.  Several even noted if it was possible to have an activity involving small animals, that that would really be special for their child.  Naomi explained that animals were not permitted at camp and there would not be any animal activities.  Little did Naomi know that God was planning His own activities. The afternoon of the second day of camp we hosted the Camp Des Cimes Olympics. We competed in camp’s version of several olympic games including: horseback riding, kayaking and high jump.  Just as we were wrapping up this afternoon filled with belly laughs, two dogs came bounding down the hill to the sports field.  At first, Naomi and the other leaders got nervous, 2 dogs and about 15 kids…this could be trouble.  It ended up that these 2 dogs were docile, tolerant and ready for the kid’s cuddles.  One child shared after the dogs left “ That was the best Olympics EVER!”  We all agreed.  This was just one of the ways that God covered the tangible wants of the kids during camp.  

Two of the buddies at camp were professional musicians from Albertville, France.  They led worship music and then quickly changed hats and served as buddies.  They prepared a special treat for everyone at camp by composing an original lullaby for the campers.  We ended each night with a bedtime story and this prayer/song which by the end of camp everyone had memorized. Their child oriented worship time was energetic and full of movement, everyone was up dancing. The relationship that these 2 musicians were able to cultivate with their campers was remarkable.  One little boy shared the last night of camp, that he was happy because he had a new friend in Stephen, his buddy.  This camper’s parents were able to see their son come out of his shell thanks to the gentle leading of his buddy.

Whether God used unexpected surprises to bring abundant joy, the tender relationship of a buddy and their camper, a conversation shared around the table, a hard truth shared in discussion time or the energetic, hardworking service team to take care of the cooking and cleaning, Camp des Cimes camp adapté was a reflection of God’s Kingdom and His love and acceptance for us.  As one volunteer astutely noted at the end of camp, the Kingdom advanced that week at camp.  The strength of the family was rejuvenated and the children had the opportunity to let their guards down and grow in their confidence of themselves and their createur.   We pray that what happened in the hearts of the families, volunteers and staff continues to grow, serves as a reminder of what is possible and opens the opportunity for more.

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