Christian Broderick, Instructional Technologist in the Online Learning and Educational Technology Department, recently volunteered at the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Summer Camp in Leonardtown, MD. The MDA Summer Camp is a weeklong camp for children ages 6 – 18 that have any of the variations of Muscular Dystrophy. There are many different types of Muscular Dystrophy (https://www.mda.org/disease/list) and the way the disease affects the children is on a case by case basis. This is why the MDA Summer Camps have one counselor for every single camper that comes to attend.
Christian shares a summary of his experience:
“This was the fifth year that I’ve been able to come and help and it was the second year I had my camper, Phil. Throughout the week, it was my goal to help Phil and the other campers have an amazing week. Camp is a place for these young boys and girls to be around people like them. This is a place where they see other people in wheelchairs, this is a place where everything is accessible for them and it’s a place where we let them take risks. Oftentimes, it’s hard for the parents or schools that these campers attend to try and do adventurous things, but we believe that part of our mission as counselors is to encourage them to try new things and experience activities they would not normally be able to do. These activities include going out to the pier to go fishing, going for a swim in the pool, and being able to play basketball with an adjustable rim. We even devised a way for the campers to be able to play Football.
This year was an important one for my camper Phil. It was his final camp and he was “graduating.” The final year of camp for these young men and women is an important milestone because most of them have been coming for years. This normally coincides with them either leaving for college or entering their final year of high school. It’s a time of reflection and a time to look forward to the future with the knowledge that they have a family in the MDA Summer Camp. One of the graduates is going to be going to The College of Notre Dame down in Maryland and another is entering their final year of high school like Phil. It’s our goal as counselors to do our best to help them transition by giving them experiences and tools through camp.
The MDA Summer Camp is a time for these young men and women to grow and it’s our job as counselors to try and keep up with them. This is their week and we guide them the best that we can and keep them safe. Then at the end of a long and joyous week, we see them off and wait another year until we start the whole experience over again.”
Join us in recognizing Christian and the other counselors for their commitment to making a lasting, positive impact on our community.