by Wendy Quinn, President of the Canadian Hemophilia Society
This summer I had the great privilege of finally attending the infamous Camp Blast – the Newfoundland and Labrador’s version of Family Camp. If anyone ever had the opportunity to meet or be around our Newfoundland members, there is no doubt that fun would follow anything they put their hand to, and this rung true. But there was so much more than just fun, there was true authentic engagement that you cannot manufacture if you tried. I experienced children and adults of all ages playing games swimming, sliding, riding horses, competing, showcasing talents. I watched young people doing their best to be a part of education sessions, and the same young people presenting those sessions. I watched kids learn about self-infusion at one table, while the older people learned how to hook a symbolic mat at another. I was included in many circles of storytelling, many tears and oh so much laughter. I saw respect – respect of each one’s place in this bleeding disorder world, and the opportunity to share messages of that respect and caring. And lastly, a beautiful quiet commemoration ceremony that brought us to tears. I along with all the camp members left with a little message card filled with kind and caring words from each other.
If we ever need to know what true engagement looks like, the Newfoundland Family Camp is a example of it. Chapter engagement is a priority for the CHS – in truth it is the members that make the chapters. I had the opportunity to actually connect directly to the members and for this I am truly grateful as there is no better connection. The CHS will continue to strive to make these connections if not at one to one events, but within function of the Chapter Collaborative Council. Either way, getting back to the basics of sharing laughter, tears, stories, commemoration are the core of what keeps us connected as people. Let’s get back to the basics.
Thank you NL Chapter for having me at your energizing Family Camp!