On July 8th, 42 children aged 8 to 16 hugged goodbye after spending the week together at camp. Some were smiling, others were crying, but they were all hoping to see each other again next year. These youngsters, who all live with a form of childhood Arthritis, had attended Kids on the Move, a camp created thanks to a partnership between the Arthritis Society and the Montreal Children’s Hospital. For the first time in 14 years, Kids on the Move was held at Camp Massawippi, in Ayer’s Cliff, a safe environment tailored to the needs of children with disabilities.
The theme for this edition was “holidays” and the campers took part in a ton of related activities, like a birthday cake workshop, a treasure hunt, friendship card making and Christmas in July celebrations. That’s on top of the adapted activities like water skiing and tubing. They also got the opportunity to meet Lazylegz, a breakdancer who hasn’t let his reduced motor skills stop him, and Hugues Létourneau, who has a rewarding career as a radio host despite living with Arthritis. The camp’s exceptional team of counselors, specialized in working with children facing physical limitations, made the week unforgettable thanks to their energy and creativity! Adaptations provided our young campers with the most comfortable experience possible; golf carts allowed them to move around painlessly and a team of health care professionals was on site to meet their medical needs and make sure they adhered to their treatment plans.
Fourteen-year-old camper Lili-Jeanne sums it up best: “It’s magical here. Everyone understands each other. And every time I leave, I can’t wait to come back!”