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Little can stop MDA campers
camp 2
Writing letters during a rain break from activities. - photo by Photo by Ralna Pearson

The rain has not stopped the campers from enjoying themselves at the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) summer camp at the New Ebenezer Retreat this week.

This was Ashley Reed’s third camp. And what does she like about the camp?

“Um, everything,” she said, adding that she enjoys being around kids like her.

“You don’t have to be embarrassed because you’re different.”

The MDA summer camp held its VIP luncheon on Wednesday for their sponsors and members of the media. The luncheon served as a showcase to the sponsors of what their dollars are going toward.

Campers treated the guests to a carnival, petting zoo, a tour of the facilities and a Renaissance theme parade.

When the rain began to pour, the campers abruptly ended their swimming and retreated to their cabins. The girls used the time to write letters.

During downtime the campers and counselors write and send letters back and forth. Decorated paper bags serving as mailboxes line the outside wall near the front door of the cabins.

As the girls wrote their letters the topic turned to that common teenage subject — boys. And rightfully so, since the campers attend a dance where couples (hint, hint) are encouraged.

Fortunately for the girls, they enjoy the pick of the litter as the boys outnumber them significantly. There are 23 campers total this year while last year there were about 17, only two of whom were girls.

The girls’ and boys’ cabins are far from each other. However, both groups are able to hang out with each other and visit the other’s cabin.

While images of giggling girls up all night gossiping and sharing secrets may come to mind, at this camp, everyone is on a tight schedule. 

Lights are out at 9:30 p.m. and the girls get up around 7:30 a.m. to make it to breakfast, which begins at 8:30.
There are no televisions or DVD players. Campers are prohibited from bringing them.

Some of the girls are veterans of the camp while others are freshmen.

This was Liesl Frank’s first time at camp. The outgoing 9-year-old said she and her family learned about the camp from a form.

“We got a little slip telling us about it,” she said.

Counselor Hillary Boulware is also new. She learned of the camp through her dad, a firefighter with the Bluffton (S.C.) Fire Department. The department raises money for MDA.

So, will they all return next year?

“These kids look forward to camp the day after they leave,” program coordinator Melanie Morgan teased.