8iRWeiXjcKj9kUz5Tebo4_k_FtY Life with Two Special Needs Children: 2011 Camp Barnabas and Vacation - SUCCESS!!! - Part 1

Saturday, July 30, 2011

2011 Camp Barnabas and Vacation - SUCCESS!!! - Part 1

I have to admit that I was very nervous about dropping the kids off at Camp Barnabas - not so much Cassidy, as I knew she would have a blast and, even though she might miss us, she'd do great.  Caleb on the other hand, I had absolutely no idea how he would do being away from us for six nights and in a camp environment.  I knew that it was something that we had to at least try.

Tony and I have talked many times about family vacations, but Caleb is always the wild card.  We don't know how he will do in given situations and sometimes the stress of trying to avoid meltdowns is just too much for both of us at times.

There was this blog post from a father of a child with a special needs child, who blogs at The Works of God, and in there he expressed in writing many of my same thoughts about taking a vacation without Caleb.  Our difficulty was, we didn't really have anyone that we could leave Caleb with and take a vacation.  That is, until we found Camp Barnabas!

We packed the car and ended up leaving about an hour before we had initially intended.  Everything was packed and ready to go and the kids - especially Caleb - we're getting very antsy.  So instead of waiting around and constantly telling them when we would leave, we just loaded up and went.

 Here is a picture of the van loaded and of all the kids as we were just leaving home!

On our drive, I lost count how many times Caleb asked, "Are we in Missouri?"  He would ask constantly!  Even if he just asked two minutes prior, he'd ask again, "Are we in Missouri?"  That lack of a short term memory sure is a big issue!!!!  

We stopped and had lunch in Parsons, Kansas - where we had to eat at Braums, because the Burger King that we normally eat when we go through Parsons was closed!  The only other fast food restaurants on the road that takes us through town were Subway and Sonic!

We were making very good time and had time to wait either at the entrance to the camp since they do not open the gate until 4 p.m. on the dot.  We were getting close to Joplin, so we took a little side trip and used it as a chance to get gas and have a potty break!  Driving through the main road off the interstate we saw firsthand the devastation of the May 2011 Tornado.  The news reports did not do it justice.  To see the devastation was just mind boggling.

We arrived at Camp Barnabas and had to wait about an hour before the gate opened.  When we arrived, we had to wait about an hour before the gate opened.  Here are some pictures upon arrival.

We have arrived!!!!!!!

Waiting outside the gate:

Entering the gate:

Since we were first time campers, this nice lady was there to walk us through the drop-off process!  The house in the back was done by Extreme Home Makeover for the owners of Camp Barnabas.

Coming up to drop off the luggage!

They announce all the kids as they arrive.  Here Cassidy is being announced.

Tony has most of the drop off pictures on his camera, so I'll have to share those when he gets them processed.

I'll post more about our week in subsequent posts!  Stay tuned ...


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