Personal Narrative: Mount Hood Kiwanis Camp

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"Yeah Jenna! Just hold on tight, and have fun!!" I shouted up to the frightened looking girl, clinging for dear life to the zip-line harness. She kicked off, and woosh! Over the river, laughing and yelling, until another counselor caught her at the end. I sprinted alongside her, taking pictures all the while to record her ecstatic expression. I laughed as she told me she was glad she had tried the zip line, even if she had been scared at first. Only at the all inclusive Mount Hood Kiwanis Camp (MHKC) in Oregon, could children and adults with disabilities zip line across a rushing river, and come out on the other side feeling empowered and thrilled. MHKC is a place where any ability level is embraced and appreciated. It is a place where one realizes the resiliency of the human spirit and embraces true beauty. Beauty that is often overlooked. My second week as a junior counselor at MHKC had left me utterly fatigued, yet determined to embrace the personalities the campers around me, and ensure their positive experience. Though drained, I was illuminated with an unexplainable joy as I started to see the world through a different lens. I was confronted…show more content…
During the closing song, I experienced an overwhelm of emotions, and I was shocked to realize that fear was one of them. I feared for the campers due to return home by noon the next day, who had to return to a world that is far less accepting than MHKC. I was blessed with glimpsing personalities that rarely got acknowledged due to the marginalization against the disabled community in our society. The sense of belonging is a fundamental human need, and I realized in that moment that the children and adults around me had struggled all their lives with meeting that need. Belonging in a society that tends to be hyper-judgmental is no easy feat, which is made even more difficult due to the often physical symptoms apparent in many members of the disabled
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