Annie’s Story

YMCA Camp Weona

Annie was born with an auditory processing disorder. Her mother wanted her to experience the benefits of Y camp, but was worried about how she might fare. “So we dropped Annie off, and of course I was a wreck the whole way home…thinking about her, didn’t sleep much that night.” One of Annie’s huge fears was the dining hall because she knew it would be loud with a lot of singing. Annie and her mother had talked to her cabin leader together and made a plan that if the noise made Annie uncomfortable, she could eat at a picnic table on the porch where it would be quiet. Sure enough, the first meal there, the first night during dinner with everyone excited to be there, it got very loud with lots of singing and conversations causing Annie to start having some anxiety. Wanting to retreat, Annie asked her leader if she could go out to the porch to the picnic table, and eat where the leaders could see her. Her cabin leader said, “Yes, not a problem.”

Upon recalling the experience with her mom, Annie told her mom that she looked up and found that “all my cabin mates decided to come outside and eat with me.” Led by their cabin leader, Annie’s cabin mates told her that they didn’t want her to be alone. “When she told me that…it still just brings tears to my eyes because it made her feel so welcome and such a part of something with peers for the first time in her life.”

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The 2016 Annual Campaign   February 23-April 19