If you’ve been a long-time follower of our 26 years of camp adventures, you may remember Ross Gipson, a camper from Carthage, Missouri who first went with us in the summer of 1994. All of the Kansas City campers are, of course, exceptional but Ross made a very special impression on all that met him. He was invited back to participate in the camp’s huge fall fundraiser two times, once to accompany Willie Nelson on stage. Another time he sang Imagine and brought the crowd to their feet. In addition to his musical talents he is artistic and writes amazing poetry. For years after he was too old to attend as a camper, he went back to volunteer a session each summer. When he entered law school, it became difficult to find the time to volunteer but he remained a legend at camp and a friend to all who knew him. So two years ago he was invited back to that fall fundraiser where he had made such an impression as a camper – but this time he was asked to talk about what being a camper had meant to him. His eloquent words again brought the crowd to their feet and his mantra of “never stop climbing” was used as the camp theme in the summer of 2014. His presentation was so moving that they made Ross the focus of one of their Healing Feeling videos, a series of inspiring productions that feature exceptional campers like Ross. We’re excited for you to view it here. Ross has made us proud.
For various reasons, not many kids at Children’s Mercy were up for leaving their rooms today so after dropping off some projects they could do bedside, we invited the moms to the playroom to dig into our wonderful stash of beads and jewelry making supplies. Thanks to a very dear friend that lives in Texas, we received a suitcase full of beautiful beads of all colors, shapes and designs along with the other supplies that go into making necklaces and bracelets. It was a wonderful afternoon, watching the moms lose themselves for awhile in this great relaxing process, enjoying the peace and one another. We’ve brought out the beads several times at KU Med with the same wonderful experience and are always on the lookout for projects we can bring to the parents to help pass the hours of their long, stressful days.
I always thought ugly Christmas sweater contests were sort of silly – until today when we held a spectacular one on the pediatric floor of the KU Medical Center. It was fabulous with 10 of the most outrageous works of art you can imagine. The kids (and several moms) started with the not-so-attractive yellow tear away hospital gowns and adorned them with jewels, holiday greenery, pompoms (literally hundreds!), foam stickers, glittery garland and pretty much every other tacky treasure found in the Christmas clearance aisle at area craft stores.
The best part was that kids of all ages got into the fun. AND everybody won a prize!