When nine-year-old Alex Mills imagined attending summer camp, he did not picture himself watching the camp activities from the sidelines. His parents, Jamie and Jennifer, were determined to find a camp which would allow Alex to fully participate, even though he’s bound to a wheelchair.
Alex attends therapy at Reid Hospital in Richmond, Indiana. It was through his occupational therapist that his parents learned of Victory Lane. Jamie and Jennifer were thankful to find a camp that encouraged Alex to participate in camp as much as he wanted to.
“No matter what your disability is, they make every effort for each child to feel like a part of it. There was no standing off to the side just looking on,” explained Jennifer. “Alex enjoyed any activity that allowed him to be on a team with his peers. There was an entire day that we were in a counseling/training session that Alex got to spend with just his friends and other counselors and he almost didn't want us to get done so he could stay with his new friends.”
The Mills family also appreciated the connections made with support families. Jennifer shared, “The serving family that was assigned to us, Tiffany and Chad Pentacost, took to Alex as if he was a member of their family. One evening there was a tractor hay ride. Alex didn't want us to go with him. He wanted Chad to go with him. They were there all the time offering help whenever we might have needed it. They would stay with Alex while we went to get our food. We actually got to eat hot dinners! Even the families that were helping other Victory families would jump in and help if needed.”
Alex found meaningful connections with other families and peers. He loved that he could hang out with people other than his parents. “There was a teenage girl assigned to help us with him and she would ask if she could take him for a walk or would help with getting him around to different places. And a little girl, Addy, would come and hug him and sit with him multiple times a day,” said Jennifer.
The camp experience of meeting new friends and being able to participate in exciting activities has stuck with Alex. He’s looking forward to the future and already strategizing. Jennifer described, “Alex still talks about his time at camp. He enjoyed his time at camp immensely and can't wait to go back. He's making plans every day about what kinds of things he's going to do (mostly races and 'competitions') and who he might see.”
Do you know a family impacted by disability who is looking for a place to connect this summer? Start here- https://victorylanecamp.org/start/