May we all be so lucky.
Most of us having something in our lives that we could talk about for hours. For me, it’s Camp Footprint. I think it would be fair to say aside from my wonderful parents & adult figures in my life, Camp Footprint helped raise me. I came into the CMTA at the age of 11, with not a clue that when that age doubled… there would be almost 200 Erin Blacks - youth living with CMT looking for a home, empathy, and an escape. Yet as I begin to enter adulthood (is that what you call it? lol), this camp still raises me. Every year camp Footprint teaches me something different about myself and the world around me. Here are a few little takeaways from this year:
Stay jungle and be kind. Even when you have no sleep, a lot of stress around you, and life gets heavy. We are all meant to do this life together - especially with our families like this one.
Uplift our youth now more than ever. The things are younger generations are going through right now are devastating, exhausting, and absolutely consuming. Let’s keep sacrificing to help them stay young even a minute longer.
Charcot Marie Tooth disease is the reason many of these youth are all too familiar with bullies, anxieties, mental health struggles, and identity concerns. Google the disease. Familiarize your children with the disease. Let’s do better for this next generation.
Always dance it out 5 minutes before bed - thanks for this one Edie Rose.
Hug your best friends a little tighter every time you see them. Sometimes we have to go months without those hugs. And oh damn does that sting.
Slip and slide? Hmmmmmmmm skip it next time lol. (All my Pseudomonas Aeruginosa sisters - proud of you for getting through that 'bumpy' ride with no pun intended hehe).
Sing ‘I’m a knife, a fork, a spoon, a spatchula’ before every meal. Gratitude and thanks for this whole shebang. Every morning, day, and night. Because we can never normalize having a community that loves us - its something a lot of people go their whole lives without.
Keep pouring into the things that pour into you and life will be full. Still tricky, sticky, and a lot. But full nonetheless.
As my new (and 10 year old) friend Ellie said… we are all here for a reason. Heaven chose us.
Camp isn’t about the 7 days it goes on for. It’s about the other 359. Go. Do.
So if you’re living with CMT, or quite frankly you aren’t. May we all be so lucky to be a part of something like the tribe of the funky feet. A cause that keeps us moving, brings us our people, and teaches us more about life in one week than in 21 years combined. The world needs Camp Footprint. I hope we never forget that. May we all be so lucky.
**Camp Footprint is a camp hosted in Fombel, PA by the Charcot Marie Tooth Association that happens one week out of every year. Campers all have one thing in common - they have CMT disease. They are rare in their everyday lives and endure a wide variety of challenges as they navigate health, social life, and disability. But when they arrive to Camp Footprint, they are one of many - they are no longer alone. Donate to the CMTA and Camp Footprint at: cmtausa.org **