This year marked the second year our daughter, Laney, attended GiGi’s Summer Camp. This is notable for several reasons. First, the 2018 Summer Camp was the first time Laney was away from us without an aid being present. Laney always has a parent OR a designated aid with her to ensure her safety, to maximize her learning and to keep her on task. Because of our relationship with the GiGi’s staff, their commitment to excellence and professionalism, we entrusted Laney’s first camp experience to them. It was magical!
Laney came home each day full of stories about new adventures, new friends and experiences that she still talks about. She was met by smiling and enthusiastic volunteers every day who checked her in and had activities ready to go. They took time to learn about Laney, her likes and dislikes, her interests and ideas, and truly made her feel welcome. Each day was scheduled with a perfect combination of activities. Laney was always engaged but not over-stimulated. Volunteers worked with Laney at her pace and were always encouraging when introducing Laney to new people, places and activities. Laney learned, played, laughed, exercised and engaged.
This year, when asked about her interest in Summer Camp, Laney simply wanted to know when it started. She was super-excited for the week to come. We checked Laney in on day one, got her t-shirt, and watched her smile grow. Laney met many new and returning volunteers and learned what her week would consist of. Once again, the experience surpassed expectations. We knew each day would present Laney and her fellow campers with many adventures in learning and discovery. She would be surrounded by people who sincerely wanted to be with her, care for her and share in her experience. We knew Laney would be safe, the experience would be positive, she would learn and fellowship with others.
This testimonial is not only about GiGi’s Summer Camp, but GiGi’s as a destination. For families with special needs individuals, life presents so much uncertainty. From medical issues to the public-school system, we are constantly trying to find some place positive and accepting for our children. GiGi’s provides a safe, welcoming and care-centered environment where our children can flourish among their peers. GiGi’s attracts volunteers from the community who truly give of themselves and go above and beyond in their work. GiGi’s has given Laney a home – a place where she sincerely feels loved, welcomed, encouraged and challenged. We give GiGi’s Summer Camp, along with all their programs, the highest recommendation. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers!
Lisa and Michael Macario (and Laney)