Hey Kids,  Camp is Like a Whole New World!
by Hunter S. 

Whenever I go to Camp Horizon I'm never alone. I'm surrounded by people who know exactly what I'm going through. You never feel like you're left out and you never are! Camp gives you a chance to have a week without all the staring, pointing, and being made fun of. You feel like you're one of a group. Whenever camp comes around, I always know that I can have a relaxed week and have fun. It's so great!

Sometimes, when I'm at home, I feel lonely and don't have anyone to talk to or hang out with. A lot of kids at school tease me and don't accept me for who I am because my skin is different. I'm 13 and in middle school in the 7th grade. I'm the only kid around with red, dry, flaky skin. My family tries to help but I still feel like I'm all alone. I don't feel like that at Camp Horizon. Almost everyone there has some kind of skin problem so I'm not "different" there. I get to be me and just be a regular kid. I really look forward to going to camp every year.

There's so much great stuff to do at Camp Horizon; so much to choose from it's hard to make up your mind on what to do! There is a big camp fire the first night with a band and (you guessed it!) s'mores. Camp also has arts & crafts, crazy hat day, swimming, fishing, paddleboats, concerts, a talent show (you can be silly), and pie day (yum!).The food is great too. There's an optional night of camping in a tent instead of sleeping in your cabin. There's an obstacle course, a tree house, and a climbing wall. I had a hard time on the climbing wall at first but, with help, I finally conquered it! Everyone there is so nice and helpful: they want us to have a great time.

One of my favorite things is gambling night. We don't use money but it's a blast. Another favorite of mine is archery. Last year I beat the instructor. We had a contest this year and I beat him again! It was so much fun! The last couple years we've gone to Knoebel's amusement park for a day They have some really great roller coasters there. I love roller coasters! Sometimes a local motorcycle group comes to camp and takes us for rides on their motorcycles on sometimes, we get to ride horses. One of the funniest things that happens is the pranks that get played. One yean someone flew Dr. Howard Pride's (camp director) underwear on the top of the flag pole. It was hilarious!

If you get worried about being away from Mom and Dad, don't worry. There are doctors, nurses, and counselors there that can help out with any medical stuff you need to do. I was 8 years old the first time I went to camp. I was nervous about what it was going to be like and about being away from Mom and Dad for a week. It was the first time I was away from home except for sleepovers. Everyone welcomed me when I got there and they were so nice. Right away, I felt like I was at home even though I hardly knew anyone there. You share a cabin with a bunch of kids and counselors. Once I graduate, I want to come back as a counselor.

There was a new kid at camp this year. He wasn't interested in coming before. My mom talked to his mom (you know how that goes) who told him about all the stuff we get to do and how much fun it is. He decided he wanted to try it and he came to camp. I'm so glad he did. I got to make a new friend and he had a blast! If you've never been to camp you "gotta" try it!  Just once!  I'll bet you'll keep coming back. 

I hope to see you there next year! Yeah toast!

Hunter - I have harlequin ichthyosis

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Neither FIRST, its Board of Directors, Medical & Scientific Advisory Board, Board of Medical Editors, nor Foundation staff and officals endorse any treatments listed here.  All issues pertaining to the care of patients with ichthyosis should be discussed with a dermatologist experienced in the treatment of their skin disorder.

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