#SPEAKOUT: Seeing dancing at work

By Danielle Sheally

By far, I think Dance Marathon is the most anticipated event of the year.

When our student body is dancing and having fun at FCDM our ears hear all these stories about the money we are raising to help out the individuals that benefit from Riley.  There are different outlets Riley participates in besides the Dance Marathon.  One of the outlets that I benefit from is Camp Riley.  Camp Riley is a place where children with a wide range of disabilities can go camping without their parents.

At Riley there is wide range of activities for kids to do while they are there.  Some of the activities are arts and crafts, archery, and nature walks.  At each activity the campers are encouraged to try to be as independent as possible but help is there if we need it.  I think what makes Camp Riley so different is that most of their counselors are medical students.  The counselors get handson practice with many different types of medical issues.  These in turn help them immensely with understanding their field of work.

For me, Riley is a place to get away from my parents.  This is definitely the biggest perk for me. Being at camp makes me realize that I am not the only one out  in the world that wants to experience opportunities that I usually would not be able to, because some are just too physically challenging.  We all struggle with the same obstacle at Riley, which is not being able to experience the things we want to.  Riley lets us see that we are not alone in our struggles.

When I was at Riley, my favorite activities were archery and talking to my counselors. The feeling of having a weapon in my hands was very liberating.  Also, occasionally, when I hit a target, I get excited too.  Archery made me feel empowered by the feeling of being able to sit down and shoot something that is extremely powerful.  Talking to counselors was hands down the most enjoyable thing.  When campers are there, we develop and grow relationships while at camp with the counselors because most of them are near our age.  I also enjoy our conversations because they let me know what college is like and what I need to expect.  So I guess you could say that not only are they mentors, but they are friends too.

Who ever thought a couple dance moves could could help so many people smile.

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