When I go back next year... by Amy McGregor
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 11:51AM
ymcawo in Camp Queen Elizabeth

Robbie first attended CQE so he could be a ‘normal kid’.

As the oldest of three, and a big brother to two autistic younger brothers, Aidan and Chase, Robbie has given up a lot in order to make sure his brothers are happy.  For a couple of weeks a year, we wanted Robbie to not have to worry about his siblings.

Due to sensory overload, simple activities like going to the movies or playing at the park can easily turn into a fearful situation for Aidan and Chase, but Robbie always help outs to make sure they are safe and happy. He holds his brothers’ hands in parking lots, walks Aidan to school and tries to make sure they are as comfortable as possible.

Robbie is only 10, but he has the weight of a much older child on his shoulders.

That's why Robbie's opportunity to go to camp is so meaningful to us, because of all that he does for his little brothers.

When we dropped Robbie off at the CQE bus, it was a bittersweet moment for our family. We knew he would have a blast, but we would miss him immensely while he was gone.

Two weeks later, when the whole family went to pick him up, Robbie got off the bus with a huge smile spread across his face.

When registration opened, I asked Robbie if he'd like to go to CQE again next summer. He said he would love to, but was really worried about his little brothers while he was gone. This completely melted my heart and made me want him to go again, all for the same reason. So he could be a ‘normal kid’ for two weeks of the year.

The second summer when he got off the bus, the first words out of his mouth were “When I go back next year!”. Robbie loves and talks about CQE so often that Chase now wants to experience this magical place! This will be Robbie’s third summer at CQE and Chase will attend the Little Dippers program for the first time.  

Because of CQE and Strong Kids funding, Robbie has been able to make new friends, develop independence, and create lifelong memories. Thank you CQE for giving Robbie more confidence and joy then I could have ever imagined.

Article originally appeared on YMCA of Western Ontario (http://ymcawo.ca/).
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