On the first day campers arrive at Camp Spring Creek, they create a writing sample that serves as a baseline to measure their progress over the summer. Because of their dyslexia, campers (especially first-timers) are not usually eager to create this sample. Writing can be an exercise in frustration. By the time they are ready to leave camp, they create another sample. It’s always impressive to see how much campers progress in as little as a month. Even looking at the samples visually, it’s obvious that writing has become easier and more fluid.
Camp Spring Creek’s emphasis on pencil grip and cursive writing is evident in the campers' writing samples, too.
What's really impressive is the range topics that campers choose to write about. From food and friends at camp to World War II history, campers use their new-found skills to express themselves in ways they couldn’t before.
Some campers choose to write about their struggles with reading and writing. Camper Addie G. put it this way:
I hated reading and I did not like books at all. And I did not love books. But what? I do like reading and I do like books and I do like reading books! I love books and I love reading. I love reading books, plus I could have the whole day reading. I’m not sure if it would happen today, but it could happen tomorrow.
“We love to read as a family,” says Addie’s mom Angi. “But Addie never enjoyed reading on her own as it was just a struggle for her. Since camp, she regularly picks up a chapter book that her tutor gave her and joins us in reading for pleasure, something she would never have done before.”
Camper Olivia L., who has returned to camp several years in a row shared this moving assessment of her progress at camp, not just in reading and writing, but on a very personal level:
There are so many things I have learned and accomplished at camp over the years. For one, how to write, spell, read, syllables, and most importantly, how to make friends and not be ashamed of being dyslexic or thinking I was less than everyone else; thinking I was less intelligent or even feeling excluded. All those bad and upset feelings, I hardly ever feel anymore.
During my time at camp, I feel I’ve really thrived and stopped trying to fit in and started trying to stand out.
Our campers are truly some of the most amazing children you’ll ever meet. Helping them to express themselves in many different ways is at the heart of what we do at camp.