“I first came to Hands to Love camp as a Certified Hand Therapist wishing to volunteer my time serving a special group of kids. I had no idea the impact that first year’s experience would have on me. I found myself so amazed and inspired by these kids and their parents, and also so impressed with the genuine love the staff and other volunteers showed all weekend! Plus we had so much fun!! I was hooked! I have now attended camp for 4 years and have been fortunate enough to share the experience for the past 3 years as a “Family Pal”, with a special little girl and her family who are now near and dear to my heart. Words can’t really describe the experience, but it has changed me (for the better) as a therapist and a person”.
– Laurie Thurber, Hand Camp Family Pal
“What makes Hand Camp special for me and my family? Well, that’s easy. For my family, Hand Camp is not just a camp that we go to every year for kids with hand differences. It is an Annual Family Reunion consisting of patients, doctors, therapist, families and everyone involved in the process of making it all happen. Hand Camp has become part of our lives. A place where we have seen our children grow from babies to adults. A place where our family expands as we welcome new friends. A place where we can be one in the same. We love Hand Camp! We are Hand Camp!”
– Miriam Rodriquez, Hand Camp Mother
“I have always treasured Jackie’s words after being at her first hand camp…”Camp is a place where people look for your differences not at them”
– Deb Kenyon, Hand Camp Mother
“Sometimes I get frustrated when people stare at my hand. Or when they say something unkind. Once a boy at preschool said, “You’re stupid because you have a stupid little hand”. I think he didn’t know how smart I am. (Nobody has beaten me at the Memory Game! Not even adults!) He didn’t understand that long fingers don’t make a person smart. So, I explained it to him”.
– Grace Mary McClelland, H2L Camper
“we all have something unique about us, and just because you can see that my hand is different, that doesn’t make me any less a person than the next person who has red hair not brown.”
– Dawn Dukes, H2L AULD (Adult with Upper Limb Difference)
“I will never forget the very first hand camp – Luke was only 7 and had never seen anyone else like him. We had the good fortune of bunking with another family whose son had the same exact rare condition as Luke, which was a unique and incomparable experience for Luke and our family. The camp director, Tony Oyenarte only had 4 fingers on one of his hands, just like Luke. Luke looked at him and said…”look mom, he has 4 fingers, just like me!” He and Tony spent the rest of the weekend, and for many years to come, “high fouring”!
– Laurie Deems, Hand Camp Mom