Monday, October 3, 2011


Hey, everybody, this weekend my whole family and I went to a FOCUS event at Camp Twin Lakes Will-O-Way. FOCUS stands for Families Of Children Under Stress. We were camping from Saturday morning till Sunday afternoon. Each family would share a little cabin with three other families. We got a cabin with Mrs. Amanda's family, and another family that we never saw. We woke up at 7:30 am on Saturday, and drove for about an hour. It was a little after nine when we got there. When the workers were getting us checked in, they handed us a bag with our schedule, T-shirts, and name tags. After we got unpacked, we went out to see what we could do.

It was a couple hours until our first event, which was archery, so we went out on boats that you had to pedal so that they would move. After the boats, we went fishing, and then headed off to archery. We had a blast, shooting arrows at targets. James even hit an apple off the top of a target. He was the only one who was able to get it!

After we finished archery, we went to the Arts and Crafts Cabin. Because the theme was Super Heroes, they had capes and masks you could decorate. They also let you design a picture frame for the family picture they give you. I drew little hearts and stars on my cape, and put stars on my yellow mask. Alyssa, James, and I all did the picture frame together. Then, I went on a peddle boat with Mrs. Amanda, Layton, and Mr. Karl.

At 12:00 pm, we went for lunch at the Dining Hall. Before they opened the lunch line, they played a little bit of BINGO. Then they said the blessing and opened the line. They had fruit, quesadillas, and PB&J sandwiches. For dessert, they had brownies. When everyone was done eating, they had Spirit Time. Spirit Time was where they played music and you got to sing and dance. I tried to learn all of the dances!

After lunch, we went to the gym. They had super heroes there: Bat Man, Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern, and Captain America. The super heroes gave you their autograph, and even took a picture with you! When the super heroes left,  the kids ran around. Then, we played dodge ball. Aly and I were on a team with a boy we didn't know, and James and Layton were on the other team. By the time we finished playing, it was time for dinner.

Instead of eating at the Dining Hall, we ate by the pool. They played BINGO, and Mrs. Amanda won a round! For dinner, they had hamburgers, french fries, and watermelon. They also had veggie burgers for if you were a vegetarian, like James. After dinner, we played volleyball. Then, we went and had s'mores. Finally, it was time for the hay ride. It was really fun, but very cold. James and I thought it was weird that the ride didn't have any hay!!!

The next morning, we had to wake up at 7:00 so we could be ready for breakfast at 8:00. I had taken a shower the night before, so all I had to do was get dressed and bu\rush my teeth. Then I read my book My Sister's Keeper until it was time to go. We went to breakfast which was eggs, toast, cereal, and bacon. Then they had Spirit Time again, and I knew all of the moves! We had to leave right after breakfast so that we could make it to our next event, the Climbing Tower.

The Climbing Tower was a really high rock wall. Each one of us(except for my parents, who didn't go on at all) went on the tower twice. Both Aly and James only made it half-way the first time, but the second time they both made it all the way. I made it half-way both times. It was really cool watching other people do it, because some of the kids couldn't even walk. There was one boy who couldn't walk, and they put him in a little sling so that they could pull him up. He had never done anything like that before, and he had the biggest smile on his face.

We walked around for awhile, and then went into the Dining Hall to play Bingo, and then eat lunch. I was so excited when I won Bingo!! I went up to the prize box, and finally chose a Littlest Pet Shop coloring book. Katy won the next round, and chose a packet of tattoos. She gave me and James four each. After lunch, we had Spirit Time again. While I was dancing, a lady with a camera kept taking pictures of me dancing to some of the songs. I was super excited when she came over and told me that she worked for the newspaper. She asked my mom if it was okay to use my picture in the newspaper, and Mommy said yes! The reporter said she would send us a copy of the newspaper with my picture in it. We haven't gotten that yet.

After we finished talking to the reporter, someone brought out a craft. The craft was where you take a small strip of leather, and you can take metal stamps and stamp your name into the leather. I made a bracelet that said Mattie L. We then went outside to do our last activity: remote control race cars. I got the red car, and raced against my brother, who had the silver car. Then I gave my remote to someone else, and so did James. That way, everyone got a turn.

That weekend at camp was one of the best ones in my life. It was nice to see that there were others like me out there. While at camp, I met a few people that had Mitochondrial Myopathy, many people in wheelchairs, and a couple who had hearing aids. You know what? I can't wait 'till they do the camp again next year!!!


  1. Wow Mattie that sounds like fun. I really enjoyed the part about the kid who had never walked getting to do the Climbing Tower. That brought a smile to my face.

  2. Mattie you are fantastic as well as James and Aly...Glad you had such a Great time..Hope someone was able to video tape you doing the dances.... Can't wait to see your pics in the paper...Thanks for sharing your weekend!

  3. That is so cool Mattie! I am really glad you guys had fun. I know you were the life of the party! What a great entry!!!
    - Ms. Starla

  4. Thanks, guys! I'm glad you liked it!