The best part of being a Guardian is getting the chance to make a difference in a Hero’s life. We love reading the incredible testimonials and reviews that our parents send us. Here you can read Betsy’s story about her Hero, Becca.
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“This will be my daughter’s third summer attending Wizard & Warrior Overnight camp. As a mom to a daughter on the autism spectrum, it has been challenging to find a place where she feels accepted for who she is, quirks and all. The summer prior to finding Guard Up camps, she tried a different three-week overnight experience with a camp on Cape Cod. While she had some fun and made a friend, when I asked her if she wanted to return the following year, her response was “I had to work really hard at fitting in to have fun. I wish I could just relax and be myself and have fun.” This was a pivotal moment for me, because in that moment I realized that the message she’s been receiving (in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways) is that who she is, is not okay.
I knew I needed to find a place that accepted her true self – a place where she did not have to mask in order to fit in. I found this at Guard Up. They pride themselves in providing and fostering an open and inclusive community and not just acceptance of diversity, but a real celebration of it.
We have found the counselors to be more mature than your average summer camp counselor as well, and they care about each individual camper. Once, in her first year, one of her counselors noticed that my daughter was burying her nose in a book during free time. Since he did not know her well, he called to check in with me to find out if this was something she did just in order to recharge and regroup or whether it was social avoidance. As it turns out, she likes to do this and it had nothing to do with social avoidance, but for the counselor to notice and inquire spoke volumes to be about his level of insight and interest in each camper.
The camp is wildly creative and unique, and each day includes important STEM learning, as well as plenty of outdoor adventure. She loves the teamwork aspect, the creative outlet, the total immersion, and the adventure. She cannot wait till she returns!
Betsy (mom to a third year hero)”