Imagine being 10 years old and never doing the things other boys your age do. No bike riding, no ball games. No skateboarding at the park. Bobby hasn’t done those things because his days are filled with doctor visits, physical therapy appointments and medical tests. He sees 23 specialists for nearly 30 diagnoses. With limited physical function, including only one lung from being born at 32 weeks, summer posed a unique challenge. This summer, however, Bobby’s grandmother decided it was time to give summer camp a try. Bobby deserved a chance to have fun and make friends, she said, just like everyone else.
Since he was at least 7, Bobby has enjoyed listening to and playing music. He has instruments at home, including drums, guitars and a keyboard. So when Grandmother Vicky was looking for a summer activity, a music therapy-based camp seemed to fit the bill. The camp would be indoors, which would allow for Bobby to participate fully. And it was staffed by board certified music therapists who would be capable of handling Bobby’s medical issues.
The first day, Bobby was very anxious about camp. He had to be coaxed up the stairs and into the room. The second day, however, Bobby insisted he be the first one there, arriving at least 15 minutes early. He went from little participation the first morning to social butterfly with staff, volunteers and campers by the second day. He brought in toys to share and made pictures for his favorite volunteers each day. His favorite class was music, and he made a tin can drum set complete with cardboard cymbals in art and used it during afternoon music classes.
“We are so incredibly grateful to Melodic Connections,” his grandmother said. “This experience was literally life-changing for all of us, especially Bobby.” Every child deserves to experience summer camp. Because of “The Art of Being Social” summer camp, Bobby finally got to experience it too.