Camp No Limits Maine 2012

 Even with the large crowd I am happy to report our best yet Camp No Limits with all activities running so smoothly and many, many happy campers, parents, siblings, and volunteers!  We started our week with many icebreaker games including our most popular games this year involving cookies, shaving cream, and cheerios!  As we have had so much fun in the past in California with a game called human foosball we decided to unveil this game here in Maine with huge success!  We had to pull away many parents to allow the kids to have a turn!  We enjoyed the thrill of many campers accomplishing so many firsts this year with not only many first time campers but many old campers also accomplishing many new skills this year!  David came all the way from New York this year and accomplished his goal of tying his shoes and after camp was so excited to go out and buy his first pair of tie shoes!  We also had Lucy (a camper for many years) finally accomplish that daunting task of riding a bike!  With tears of joy by not only Lucy and her mother but by many of our families and volunteers.  A task that is very hard for above the knee amputees Lucy has now mastered this skill!  Hurray Lucy! 

We had a debut this year of our first organized music program at Camp No Limits Maine thanks to a long time high school friend of mine Greg Guay (classical guitarist and music teacher) so many campers enjoyed the chance to practice and play instruments they may have never tried before!  With the help of both Greg and Jeff Erenstone our innovative prosthetist we came up with a few adaptations to allow for strumming a guitar with just one arm!  Greg and his campers did an amazing job at our best talent show yet playing a Bob Marley favorite “Three Birds” to open our show. 

We are very thankful for the Never Say Never Foundation for not only being our sponsor for one of the most fun afternoons ever at CNL for sponsoring our “Never Say Never Adventure Day” including the Rock wall, bungee trampoline, bounce house, and our most enjoyed event the bungee run and jousting activity!  It was quite a work out but so much fun!  Clara one of our newest campers this year worked so very hard to make it to the top of the rock wall this year it was quite a feat for her but she did it with a smile!  Shaun I think holds the records for the most summersaults on the bungee trampoline with over 30 flips in a row!  I am not sure how he could walk straight after that!  We also want to thank Tom Mesick and Loi Ho for sponsoring ice cream for the afternoon!  It was much needed after all that activity!
After all that activity we were starving and ready for our meal of MAINE LOBSTERS!  We had our kids take a “crack at it” opening up the lobster shells!  We enjoyed the lobster claws and lobster tail along with Maine baked potatoes, and corn on the cob!

Our physical therapy breakout sessions this year made it to the next level of success this year thanks to Kim Furlong our PT and the Never Say Never guys! (Nick, Regas, Josh, Tyler, and Kayne) for putting on a running clinic to practice those necessary skills needed for proper gait patterns, balance, and splinter skills needed for running.  This is just the beginning for many of our young lower extremity amputees!

Our occupational therapy life skills also had many firsts this year as well with back by popular demand “Cooking with Cameron” class in which we learned how to make pizza dough, and roll it out, mix it and cut the many ingredients.  We had the best pizzas yet!  We also shared our talents of shoe tying with veteran camper Cody Arsenault teaching others how to tie shoes from his accomplishment last year!  Yeah Cody!  Ella with the instruction of our teen campers learned to put her hair up in a ponytail!  Kaitlin Combs came to camp for the second time this time bringing her whole family and with the encouragement of many also learned how to put her hair up in a ponytail.

This year in honor of the Summer Olympics and Paralympics we hosted our own CNL Olympics thanks to the organizational skills of Jim and Becky Rennix for pulling off the ever challenging competition of running, bike, swim!  Special thanks to Brooke Artesi for providing us with medals for the competition from the Extremity Games!  Brooke was not with us this year as she is awaiting the birth of her first bundle of joy!  We did miss you Brooke and Steve!
We want to also thank our partner Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation (formally Maine Handicapped Skiing) for partnering with us to teach a paddling clinic and also provide the opportunity to try out several various adaptive cycles (including recumbent and hand cycles).  We appreciate our partners at Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation for partnering with us on so many levels and providing an educational sports and recreation not only at our Camp sNOw Limits but also providing us with adaptations to our summer activities as well! 

Fishing with Dave has become a tradition at Maine Camp now.  The evenings are filled with time to bond with the other campers and also a chance to catch the biggest fish!  I think this year Kaitlin was able to catch the biggest fish!  No one ever wants to miss the chance to spend an evening out on the lake with the sun setting and the fish jumping!
Our siblings and parents had the chance this year to use able bodied prosthetics thanks to both College Park and Hanger Prosthetics for loaning us the prosthetics so we all have a chance to know “what its like” to tie shoes with a prosthesis to climb stairs, and to run!  Thanks to Christa and Cathy for heading up our sibling program once again!
This year we were very fortunate to have Robert Palak and his wife Olimpia from Sunnyville Films in New York come and spend the week with us filming the entire week and interviewing our veteran and even new comers.  We are hoping to have a promotional video ready to use as we continue to grow.  We are hoping this video will be helpful for potential sponsors, and new families interested in being part of Camp No Limits.  We are so grateful for their time and energy!  Stay tuned for the video!

We ended our camp by having our best talent show ever followed by dancing until we couldn’t dance anymore!  We enjoyed the many talents including the many musical talents of those who had the opportunity to work with Greg!  We enjoyed Brian’s solo, Jack and Colleen’s wonderful guitar and vocal solo and Jordan even sang a Journey song?  “Don’t Stop Believing” so fitting for camp!  There were so many talents this year that were impressive, funny, motivating, and inspiring we are all so lucky to have the chance to be part of it!  A special thanks Roger Paradis and his crew for staying up with us until 11pm so we could have the best dance party ever!  Adrienne our veteran camper dating back to the original camp in 2004 decided this was the year for formal wear dance party!  It was a fun event thanks to Loi, Rosalyn and her friend for coming to do make up and hair to make everyone so pretty!  We appreciate Jessica also sharing her “Jamberry Nails” to complete the ensemble with decorative fingernails and toenails even working on prosthetic feet!  We appreciated Jack Wallace wearing his bow tie!  He definitely was a popular dancer at the dance!  Shaun topped off the evening with learning his new dance moves from Greg breakdancing on the floor!  Cameron brought his special date Brianna to the dance making a grand entrance on the stage! 

From campfires, support groups, boating, kayaking, Pilates, life skills, cooking, running, shoe tying, ponytails, myoboy muscle site testing, swimming, sponge wars, ping pong, humid weather, sun, jousting, ice cream, lobsters, nail art, biking, kayaking, tenting, paper airplanes, marshmallow shooters, able bodied prosthetics, Olympics, and so much more we enjoyed a week like no other!  Thanks to all the staff at Pine Tree Camp, all our volunteers, parents, campers, siblings and everyone who helped make this year be the best Camp No Limits Maine yet!

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