Camp Tiger celebrates its 25th Anniversary of dedication to the New Orleans community. To commemorate this special event, we have compiled testimonials, thoughtful words, and significant memories of families, counselors, and faculty that have influenced and been touched by the program. If you would like to contribute a vote of thanks or words of inspiration please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view reflections from the LSUHSC community, click here.
There are many touching stories from Camp Tiger, but perhaps one of the most meaningful moments in camp history occurred in the summer of 2004. Ronald is a young boy with autism who joined us for Camp Tiger 2004. Although he received attention from several camp counselors and appeared to be having a great time, what Ronald thought of his camp experience remained an uncertainty because he did not respond to anyone verbally. Counselors and other campers would talk and play with Ronald, but Ronald did not say one word. On the last day of camp, however, just before Ronald went home, he picked up a piece of chalk and wrote on the sidewalk: ├óÔé¼┼ôThank You├óÔé¼┬Ø. How powerful these two words are! – Camper Ronald’s story (Camp Tiger 2004)
“As a parent of a special needs child you cannot know the absolute joy it brings to my heart to see how happy my child is to get ready every morning for Camp Tiger!├é┬á And the beautiful smile on her face when I pick her up from another AWESOME day at Camp Tiger!!├é┬á Camp Tiger just makes my HEART SMILE!!” – Deborah Allen-Hill – parent of camper Emily
Autism and other disabilities that fall under the Pervasive Developmental Disorder Spectrum impair the communication and social skills of those individuals like our sons who are affected by them. In addition to their impact on those that are affected by the challenges of having one of these disorders, the second group to be impacted by them are the parents and other care givers that are responsible for meeting their daily needs. One of the first lessons that parents with challenges learn is that our children will always be seen as different (which is understandable as we are able to identify that they are different) but what we want to be understood is that though they are different they are not ├óÔé¼┼ôless than.├óÔé¼┬Ø It is important to understand that long before the diagnosis of these disorders was identified in our children we have already begun to see reasons that let us know that there are legitimate reasons to be concerned. Trying to locate a camp for our children to attend doing the summer months is a constant reminder just how different our children are since many of the camps are not geared to children with challenges. Camp Tiger represents the genesis of things to come for children such as ours who will probably never be able to participate in the traditional summer camps.├é┬á Camp Tiger affords children with challenges an opportunity to work with those who are committed for that one week to giving them the individual attention they require while exposing them to activities that they appreciate engaging in like all children do. And while there are not any camps (that we know of that will serve our children for the entire summer) we are particularly grateful for the week that have been made possible by the faithful contributors who heard and understood the cry of our hearts and the hearts of all children who are blessed enough to be exposed to this dynamic experience even though it is only for one week.├é┬á Of course we are convinced that if given a chance almost all of the Camp Counselors will testify to the fact that the campers have enriched their lives in some unique way.├é┬á Imagine that, the power that rests in the hands of people to change the lives of another person in powerful enriching way.├é┬á We just once again want to say ├óÔé¼┼ôthank you├óÔé¼┬Ø to the contributors who make this awesome experience possible for children every year.├é┬á├é┬á IT IS OUR PRAYER THAT YOU RECEIVE A HUNDREDTH FOLD OF YOUR GIVING. – Julius and Connie Coco – parents of Camp Tiger campers