Monday, October 20, 2008

Camp

Oh, there's so much to say and really no way on earth I can relay what camp was like. There's good. There's bad. And then there's the ugly. Let's start with the bad so I can end this thing on a good note.

Unprofessional. Poorly staffed. Poorly planned. That pretty much sums it up. Don't get me wrong, the directors' hearts were in the right place. They have a love for "our" kids, and want to see families healed. They were kind people who know a lot about RAD and the things that make these kids better. However, I was assured there would be activities and crafts for my non-RADlings during class time for us (3 hour classes from 9 to 12). Because they did not have enough staff, they were expected to sit with us, still, not making noise, ect. for the class time. Um, not happening. And shouldn't be expected. 2nd of all, because Nancy Thomas was not present (we did know that ahead of time), her classes at a previous camp were taped and shown to us. The tapes, however, were like home-made (not professional) and the audio was terrible. We couldn't understand her about half the time, nor could we see the power point slides she was pointing to on the video because of a glare. So, between tending to 6 kids with us during the classes, and the lack of professionalism of the videos, we got very little from them. In the afternoons there was supposed to be planned family activities, in fact as much as 2.5 hours was scheduled for just that. The actual activities, though, lasted a mere 30 minutes. Not cool. We bailed on Wednesday, deciding we'd be better off ordering Nancy's curriculum online and learning it ourselves.

On the flip side, though, we met some AMAZING families! Some of the families had been implementing Nancy's methods long before attending camp, and have seen INCREDIBLE results in their kids. We learned lots of techniques just from the other families, and it was so reassuring to rub shoulders with moms who understand what life with RAD is like. Armed with the relatively small amount of things we learned, we returned home and began to train all our children, but intensively worked with Charity. Already her improvement is very noticeable. I'm so encouraged by her progress, and by being with kids at camp who had RAD but have now become enjoyable, loving, trusting members of their family. All in all, a worthy experience. I do still think that these types of camps could be an amazing experience for families, but I strongly suggest attending one that Nancy is actually present.

5 comments:

chickadee@afamiliarpath said...

sorry to hear that it was not more of what you expected.

hsmomma5 said...

That is exactly why I am always hesitant to attend ANY kind of seminar/camp/etc. They usually sound so good but many of them end up being disappointing. I am so sorry that you guys didn't get more of what you expected. But I am also glad that you got some good information!

glitzen said...

Glad you are back, I missed your posts!
Sorry the experience was not perfect, but as you said, you met some amazing people. There is a lot to be said for just that alone. Support networks can be priceless.
Hope things continue to improve with your little one.

Lisa said...

So sorry you had so many problems. I attended the camp in Florida with Nancy and it really was wonderful. Accomodations not so much though. Nancy's "Mastering Steps" 8 DVD set is the same thing as camp. I had watched the set several times before we went to camp and was so glad that I did because everyone else was writing furiously during class time. It is a really great set and models lots of interventions.

Nancy Thomas said...

Dear Awesome Mom,
I enjoyed your blog.I am so sorry I was not there in person! I attended the Tennessee camp this summer and found the setting wonderful and the team very dedicated. I had a great time with everyone and I am sure I would have had fun with you and your family. I like your positive attitude! It makes all the difference in working with our challenging children. I feel bad that you were not happy with the camp they put on. Please feel free to call me at my office and I will be happy to do all I can to help you by phone (no charge) Keep your sunny side up!
We can make a difference, Nancy Thomas