Having attended both Family Camp and Summer Camp for many years at Roundup River Ranch, Elisa was a little nervous about participating in Here We Go Online. But, when her Camp Kit came to her front porch, her worries went out the door. Elisa quickly became excited to attend camp online!
Elisa’s favorite online camp activity was the origami boat building. She is an origami pro and had the opportunity to practice her leadership skills as she assisted her cabin leaders in leading her fellow campers through the activity. This unique leadership opportunity is important to children like Elisa, who have “invisible illnesses” – in other words, serious illnesses that cannot be seen physically.
Elisa suffers from chronic migraines along with other neurological challenges. She eagerly shared how camp has helped build her confidence in her own advocacy skills, and participates in Invisible Illness Awareness Month each year with her camp friends. This month is dedicated to spreading awareness about people living with illnesses that affect their daily lives but cannot be seen on the outside.
Elisa shared that her newfound confidence stems from Roundup River Ranch being a safe environment through the presence of medical staff, shared experiences with fellow campers, and the opportunity to express her individuality.
One of the things that Elisa enjoyed most about Here We Go Online was her virtual Stage Night experience. Because of the new format, Elisa was able to show off her personal passion…horseback riding! Elisa shared how her love of horseback riding started right here at Roundup River Ranch through our Equestrian Program. Elisa had only ridden horses a few times before attending camp, but now she shows horses almost every weekend. With the support of her mom, and thanks to the virtual camp technology, Elisa was able to show off her impressive horseback riding skills via video during her Stage Night performance. The chat room was overflowing with positive messages from her fellow campers and Roundup River Ranch staff. Click here to view a clip from Elisa’s Stage Night performance!
Here We Go Online gave Elisa and her fellow campers many reasons to celebrate what they can do instead of what they cannot due to their illness. The feelings evoked by friendships formed over shared experiences, confidence developed through performing at Stage Night, and joy was present when opening a special package from camp. We know now more than ever that camp is far more than a place, it is a feeling.