A Camper’s Dream

This will be Riley’s fourth year of music camp. From her first summer there she’s had her eyes on the prize. She wants to be a camp counselor.  One of her music therapists heard of this dream a couple of years ago and encouraged her. Why not? It was a long way off. Her view was why put limits on her? Another music therapist she had very early on heard about it and was like, “hell no.” I mean, she didn’t come out and say that, but she was skeptical. She’d had Riley when she was still a screaming mimi. She didn’t want to encourage this. I backed off and let it go for a while, but Riley never did. She wants to be a counselor.

The music therapist who was championing her found a new job.

The organization that runs the camp got a new director last year.

I popped in to talk with the director today. I needed to know how realistic our chances are. Riley talks about being a counselor, a lot.

The director told me she was so moved watching Riley as the lead last year in the musical production.  They had just two weeks to put together the play and they needed someone with a good memory to learn the lines. Riley did it, and she was great. She said she’s had her eye on Riley, and she’s one of the most empathetic campers they have.  This is an inclusion camp, mostly typicals, and several kids with special needs. She told me not to do anything to discourage her dream. She told me Riley has touched her heart. She told me she prays for my little girl. She told me, “She’s going to be alright.”

She flat out made me cry.

We’re going to work together and figure something out. It’s still a couple of years away before she can even be a counselor-in-training. Maybe she can be a helper or an assistant before she is a counselor-in-training. Ease her in a bit. Maybe we have an aide unobtrusively shadow her when she’s a counselor, just in case she needs help.

I know Riley can do it.

I love that she wants to do it.

I love that there are people who care about her and want to support her in her dream.

I love my girl.

*Riley in the role of “the teacher” in last year’s summer camp production. Camp starts in less than three weeks.

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11 Responses to A Camper’s Dream

  1. Melinda says:

    Aw, I know you were concerned about this. So glad to hear that things are working out. <3

  2. Tanya Savko says:

    I love that she wants to do this too! She will be such a great camp counselor!

  3. Camille says:

    God bless that Camp Director. There is nothing more touching and powerful to find someone who loves and prays for your child every day.

  4. Lydia says:

    I KNOW she can do it!!! This is Riley we’re talking about! Being a camp counselor was one of the best experience I ever had. I was GOOD at it (I don’t say that about almost anything I do, so hear me on this, I hope!). Those kids changed that week, not all of them, but some. I did have social issues with other counselors (it was like the young adult version of high school or middle school!) and I did get overwhelmed and need some down time… I had health issues that summer (what else is new?) so I ended up not going back, but it was an incredible experience.

  5. kario says:

    Yay! When we find others who will champion our kids it shifts the balance of the universe for a bit. Good for you for not giving up on her dream.

  6. Hooray for those who dream with us. Hooray for dreams that can come true.

  7. Meg says:

    I think Riley has got some Law of Attraction going on. Girl knows what she wants and she is putting it out there. Way to go!

  8. Sophia Grace says:

    She was terrific in that role! She’ll be terrific in a counselor role, too. 🙂

  9. Carrie Link says:

    There is no scarcity of good souls out there!

  10. amber says:

    Wonderful! She has grown so much. In every way. It is lovely to see.
    She can do it.


  11. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Michelle, that’s quite a daughter you live with and love and are raising to become a woman who values herself. It’s so clear always how much you cherish her. I have no doubt at all that with the love and support of you and those in the camp she can achieve her dream. Riley is truly special. Peace.

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