Ben – Hands: Week Four

Five-year-old Ben came to Camp I-Thonka-Chi (Camp John Marc’s camp for burn survivors). He had suffered burns on over ninety percent of his body in a house fire. Ben sustained other injuries during the fire, including the loss of all of his fingers. CJM staff quickly noted Ben’s extremely quiet, private demeanor. Even his eye contact with others was minimal. Despite this, Ben bravely chose to sign up for swim lessons as his project. Ben was determined to learn to … Continued

Cookout – Hands: Week Three

The magic of a campfire – American Indian’s “television,” the comfort, camaraderie and confidence of being on a team, and the satisfaction from all the work required to cook a meal outside creates a unique opportunity for therapeutic growth. Peering reflectively into a campfire can lead to unexpected and uninhibited conversation. Because reflective communication is a goal for campers during their time at CJM, all campers are strongly encouraged to participate in cookouts to their fullest individual capabilities. The Camp … Continued

Walking – Hands: Week Two

Maria had spina bifida, a birth defect that causes a problem with the way the spine and spinal cord develop. Maria had used a wheelchair for the majority of her nine years. Maria’s cabin at Camp TLC were off to the horses for their morning activity. She had never ridden a horse before and was very unsure about being lifted out of her wheelchair to be placed into the saddle on the horse. With encouragement from the wranglers and her … Continued

Poker – Hands: Week One

As surprising as it might be, poker has long been a beloved activity at Camp John Marc. There’s something exciting about staying up a little late to play a game of cards with friends. The CJM poker tradition provides an opportunity for campers to get outside the normal daily routine, build new friendships, and have valuable conversations. As the campers retrieve, hold, and evaluate their cards, their hands are busy and their minds are at work, which opens them up … Continued