Friday, July 8, 2016

What goes into planning to attend Camp No Limits?

Several parents have asked me about Camp No Limits lately and with our planning in full force, I figured now was a great time to talk about everything that the planning entails for us. With 5 of us and the ages of our children, it's not as easy to travel as it once was. There are many camps that have dorm style sleeping, which I'm sure we'll embrace in the next couple of years. However with Luca still waking at night, it's best that no one else has to endure all that!

The first thing that we plan come January is plan our vacation time for the year. With both parents working, this can be a challenge. For the last 3 years, Camp No Limits (CNL) has ranked high on our vacation priority list. This last year, we planned around timing of school schedules too, which added a whole new challenge! So school schedules get mapped out, work schedules for both of us then we figure out what works best for timing. Florida CNL has always worked best for schedules... until this year. With me taking a job as a professor, I needed to plan around college breaks... which of course are not always the same as school breaks for the kids. So once we lined everything out, we figured out that this year, Maine CNL would be best for timing and scheduling wise. New adventures, new experiences, new location and new friends!

The second thing we do is start fundraising! Every year we do a motorcycle ride in Missouri where I'm from and where my mom still lives. She coordinates with Harley and Chad who run Charley's Roadhouse where the run goes out of. Last year, all the funds raised were given to Brandon and his family so that they could attend camp. Hopefully I can get his mom or dad to write about their experiences! They looked like they had an incredible time! We've done a multiple rides thanks to Charley's Roadhouse, one ride thanks to Gary and Kathy Wetzel, a bowling fundraiser, a bake sale, a Jamberry, Silpida and Scentsy sale, and two garage sales (with help from friends too!). This year, we slacked on the fundraising due to me finishing school and both of us starting new jobs. We have a garage sale planned... any other ideas for things we could do this year still? Or maybe to fundraise for next year? We are always looking at new ways to get people involved and spread education about limb differences!

Next, we send in the application for camp. This secures our spot at camp. That was completed a couple of months back. I like to plan as early as I can once I know we are able to attend a certain camp. We've never been turned away, however as CNL continues to grow, you never know what could happen! If you are applying for a scholarship, this is also a good time to do this. Get your application for camp and your scholarship application in at the same time if you can.

After we secure our spot, we secure flights. This year our flights were pricey. This is something that can be considered when figuring out which camp to attend. With both of us working, our choices were narrow because we needed to attend when we could both get off to attend. This is something to keep in mind when fundraising though. You can attempt to get your flights covered through fundraising to ease some of your out of pocket costs.

For us, a rental car is a must. With all five us of, it's more difficult to get around. This year we are opting for a full size vehicle versus a minivan. Why? It all boils down to price and budget. For a minivan the cost was $1200... for us, that was WAY out of our price range. So we figured out that with 3 kids in car seats, we could still fit into a full size vehicle. We'll travel with 2 booster seats and a convertible seat. Usually G-man is in a 5-pt harness but he's age/height/weight appropriate for a booster so it's safe for him to use that for travel. The others will travel in their "normal" seats. The full size vehicle cut our rental car cost in half! Big big difference.

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