Jocelyn was nervous. Her 6-year-old daughter Abby has a rare skin condition that not many people know how to manage. She’s one of the world’s unique “Butterfly Children,” with skin as delicate as a butterfly’s wing.
“She has to be bandaged all the time and is wrapped from her shoulders to her fingers and from her knees down,” said Jocelyn.
Abby also has speech and developmental delays.
Jocelyn wanted Abby to have the chance to participate in summer camp with other children and be a part of things she had never tried before.
“I was nervous but I wanted her to at least try for something new and different and be a part of something bigger than herself.”
Pine Tree Camp’s weeklong day camp, Camp Pine Cone, was the perfect fit.
“We get a lot of staring with Abby’s condition. At Camp Pine Cone, there is no staring, there’s no judgment. That is huge for us. Everybody is accepting. And they make it so she can participate in everything, which is a big deal for us. The counselors want to get to know her and learn about her. They want to know what she can and can’t do and how they can help.”
The programs and opportunities at Camp Pine Cone are so important for kids to have the chance to gain independence, try new things and make friends at a young age.
“She has been very happy and excited when she comes home to tell us all the new things she has done at camp. She plays with all the kids, talks about all the kids and tells us she is making new friends. Her nurses felt they could step back because of the way the counselors stepped up. They don’t get to do that very often. It was nice for her as well to not have someone hovering right over her all the time.”
Abby started kindergarten last fall and the experience she had at Camp Pine Cone helped prepare her for that transition. Many of the skills Abby and her family learned at camp helped the school as well, since they had never dealt with a child with Abby’s condition. The confidence and independence Abby gained at Camp Pine Cone extend far beyond her week at camp, and are woven into her daily life.