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Posted by Marilyn F on December 14, 1999 at 17:39:30:

In Reply to: Summer camps for CP posted by Javier Othon Daniel Sanchez on December 03, 1999 at 17:15:15:

I went to segregated camps for thirteen years in Ontario. I started when I was six and stopped when I was eighteen. Six years old was far too young for me. I was a very shy and withdrawn child and was extremely homesick. Camp was not for my benefit but to give my mother a break.

At about twelve years old I started enjoying camp. I discovered that I could write. I would write for the camp newspaper, write speaches for contests and debates. This boosted my self-confidencee and helped me become a person. In later years, I took my electric typewriter to camp and found a niche for myself.

However, not only did I go to a segregated camp but we were segregated into groups according to our disability. I was put into a group with the most severe disabilities and I felt that we were looked down upon by the other campers who were less disabled. Also, there was little imagination in providing us with activities. We were given free time to sit around as a group with little stimulation.

If I had it to do all over again I would not go to a segregated camp. When I was 10-12 I sometimes went to a day camp at the local school with the neighbourhood kids. This gave me exposure to being integrated and feeling part of the neighbourhood. I felt this was a more valuable experience and I would have benefited from being part of this at an earlier age.

When I was eighteen, I went to a CGIT camp with my shurch group for a week-end. I loved it and wished that in my teens I had gone to this camp for a few weeks instead of the segrated camp. I enjoyed the fellowship; the sunrise services; the bible study and the campfires. When they did things I couldn't do, I would read under a tree or use my manual typewriter. The spiritual fellowship meant a lot to me and something I could participate in as an equal. I feel I would have grown much more as a person if I had been able to go to a CGIT camp rather then to a segregated camp

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