We have asked some of our friends from Camp Banyan to guest write a blog series all about their experiences at Camp Banyan 2017!

So, without further ado, get ready to travel back in time to our fabulous summer!

 Camp Banyan 2017 – Review – Pt. 2 – by Michele Hurm

“As a parent and a volunteer I was doubly blessed. 

Hannah has been challenged to Be Inclusive by welcoming newcomers and practicing HOSPITALITY which is a core value of the Banyan Odyssey, Inc. Hannah returned to school this week by greeting teachers, staff and friends as never before. She is making eye contact and using their names. Even our week with family has produced more replies and use of words than ever before. This is a great milestone in Hannah’s journey.

Hannah loves Camp Banyan and can’t wait for next summer. To ensure her return Hannah has been more respectful at home, doing what she can for herself, creating greater independence and using her “I can” attitude. These are additional traits of the core values learned over the last two summers.

As a volunteer I received a rich education. Let’s clear one thing up; people with special needs are happy, sad, fun, frustrated and able just like everyone else. Each camper has a different motivator. When you take the time to listen and observe you can tap into their gifts and talents which produces fun, songs, scripts, skits, videos, artwork, dance parties and great food to name a few. Camp Banyan provides the resources for each camper to grow and develop into their best self, opening opportunities for their future.

As a parent volunteer, Camp Banyan made me review my parenting to better aide Hannah in her independence and rewording how I say things using the resources I learned from observing the teaching of the core values and life skill classes. Seeing the impact it had on the campers after 6 weeks spoke volumes to me.

Thank you Camp Banyan and the Williams family for your vision to come along side our young adults to provide opportunities for person growth and future employment.

 

-Michele Hurm (Hannah’s mom)”