12 Incredible Moments From Youth Rally Camp 2016 - OstomyConnection

12 Incredible Moments From Youth Rally Camp 2016

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Each year, Youth Rally hosts summer camp for kids and teens living with any sort of bowel or bladder dysfunction. The Youth Rally’s mission is to help campers understand that everyone has the same opportunities to achieve their goals regardless of medical or physical differences, and that they are not alone.

128 campers from the United States, Canada, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Belgium came together at the University of Washington - Seattle campus on July 25-30, 2016. Take a look at these 12 incredible moments from this year's event that brought inspiration, motivation, fun and even some tears.

1. Fitness day

Campers and volunteers had the opportunity to try archery and learn the importance of physical activity despite medical and physical challenges.

Youth Rally archery day

You can do anything you set your mind to.

2. Basketball for everyone

Representatives from a local adaptive sports program brought special sport wheelchairs so that everyone could participate, including those without mobility challenges.

youth-rally-basketball-game

He shoots, he scores!

3. Indoor rock-climbing adventure

The University of Washington - Seattle athletic facility let camper’s take over Crags Climbing Center for the morning.

 Nothing is impossible.

Nothing is impossible.

4. Naturally creative kids

This year there were full-length chalk boards outside all the dorm rooms. Throughout the week the “door sign contest” encouraged campers to express their dreams and inspiration.

girl drawing on chalk board door sign

We love Youth Rally!

5. Youth Rally counselors are all sorts of silly

For themed events – counselors go all out. Volunteer counselor and Youth Rally CEO, Paul Hastings is ready for the opening night “crazy hair and whacky wear” bowling party.

Paul Hastings with crazy hair

Don't take life too seriously. :)

6. Graduation ceremony

These 26 campers are all 17-years-old, and many have attended Youth Rally since they were 11. They're no longer campers, but will be eligible to apply for the counselor-in-training program in 2017 and beyond! They were presented with a certificate and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room during the ceremony.

Youth Rally graduates

Believe that you can.

7. Field trip to Green Lake Park

Campers couldn't wait to get into the paddle boats during the full-day field trip to Green Lake Park. What a beautiful day!

campers paddleboat at Green Lake Parkcampers paddleboat at Green Lake Park

Youth Rally 2016

8. Journaling to promote self-esteem

Campers embraced the writing sessions, and their confidence grew as they openly shared personal stories with one another and the group.

 Tap writing's healing power.

Tap writing's healing power.

9. Lip syncing and dance

This year was the first ever lip sync competition – and it was a hit! Campers took the stage singing song after song, dancing and having a blast.

kids lip syncing and dancing

Kids just want to have fun!

10. RN’s are a fun bunch

Volunteer Registered Nurses and WOC Nurses provide guidance and medical expertise throughout the week. Just like the other counselors, they get in on the fun!

Youth Rally 2016

Nurses just want to have fun too!

 11. End-of-week party

The end-of-week graduation celebration never disappoints. This year’s theme was “under the sea” - campers dressed up, counselors costumed up, and everyone danced the night away.

Youth Rally graduation dance

Everybody have fun tonight!

12. Departure day

It’s an emotional morning saying goodbye to old friends and new. The kids spend one week together forming bonds and connections that will last a lifetime.

youth-rally-departure-day

Youth Rally 2016

More than 30 years after inception, Youth Rally remains a community for young people to meet others who live with similar medical conditions. While we await 2017's event in San Diego, CA, there are many ways to help prepare for another incredible experience for youth who live with bowel or bladder dysfunction. Find our more at www.youthrally.org.