“All kids should want to come to Camp Korey because it gives kids a chance to have fun and not have limits to what they can do.” –Camper Jessica
Meet Jessica, age 10, a bubbly camper who completed her second summer camp session at Camp Korey. Jessica has arthrogryposis – congenital joint contractures in two or more areas of the body. This means some of their joints don’t move as much as normal and may even be stuck in one position. Jessica has experienced multiple surgeries and long hospital stays for months at a time. It was during one of recoveries that Jessica first learned about Camp Korey from her doctors and nurses.
“Outside of camp, Jessica has to adapt to everything,” states Jessica’s Mom, Annette. “She has to change the way she plays games at recess or how she participates in activities. But at camp, all activities are adapted to her, which is why we think she feels so independent and comfortable here.”
In the summer of 2015, Jessica had a goal, to get back on the rock wall she had once climbed before. Jessica had stopped climbing after changes in her body made the climb uncomfortable.
At first, Jessica acted as the official ‘bell ringer’ for her cabin, cheering her fellow campers as they conquered the wall. Toward the end of the rock climbing rotation, Jessica finally built up the courage to climb the wall herself. She only made it partially up before becoming uncomfortable, but in true Camp Korey fashion, her team was there to support her. Counselor Mike helped to adapt Jessica’s climb, offering support for her back and feet. With a huge smile on her face, Jessica completed the rock wall. Her goal was achieved.
“Helping our Jessica on the rock wall is the reason I keep coming back to camp.” Counselor Mike said, “Our goal is to make sure every kid can participate in every activity.”