Brain Injury Camp 2015

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I have a camping joke in my short film, “Friending with Brain Injury!” which is about a fictional game show that three people with TBI are stuck on. The joke was that the winner of the game show would get a three-day pass to the largest round-the-clock rock music festival in Oregon where 5,000 other people would be camping together. For many peers with brain injury, that sounds awful no matter how you slice it. But the fine folks up in Washington State who run the TBI Survivors Network Development Project and Brain Injury Radio/RadioAbility have figured out the perfect recipe for camping.

Brain Injury Camp is coming up, July 20 – 26. It’s free at a campground on North Skookum Lake. You only need to bring your camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, hiking shoes, etc.) and some food. Oh, and bring your love of fun. Because there’s gonna be a lot of that. You can also bring your loves of nature, quiet, resting, running around, and whatever other loves you have. That includes kids, family members, dogs, and whoever else wants to share in this wonderful community with you and other folks with brain injury.

Visit BrainInjuryCamp.org for more information and a schedule of things like group hikes, game nights, scavenger hunts, support groups, and lots more.

Ready to register? Click on this sentence to get right to the registration form on Google Docs.

Want more convincing that this will be a fantastic week? Here’s a video showing some highlights from the 2010 camp. There are no captions, but there isn’t a ton of talking. And you can totally get the message of the video and the feel of camp without the audio.

Craig Sicilia started this camp in 1996 for young people living in poverty and difficult situations. Because that was part of Craig’s history, he wanted to make a space for other young people to come together. He was 22 when he started the camp. After surviving a severe TBI in 2006, Craig had new, rather rotten circumstances to get used to. Being so deeply part of the TBI community, camp is now geared toward serving other individuals and families with brain injury experiences. For Craig, it’s a public service and a way to extend support. But it’s also about fun. Craig is a very sociable person, and he knows the power of connecting and reconnecting and reconnecting. Having this camp around nearly 20 years is proof of that.

I have already traveled out of town more in 2015 than I have in the previous five years combined. I’m tired, and I want to go home! But just writing this blog post is really motivating me to want to try camp this year. Who else is up for an adventure, brilliantly fresh air, and a whole campsite full of friends?