Embracing “Team John”
Dear RVRN Friends,
During my 2-day visit to Family Camp [at Newfound/Owatonna] in Maine this year, I was so aware, once again, of the generous gesture of love which RVRN provides John; and I am moved to try to express more fully this year the deep thanks we all feel.
Fifteen years ago, in the summer after our dear “Dad Casanave” passed on, John and I first came to camp. For both of us it was a very tender time. I was praying steadily for the strength, energy, and joy which I knew I’d need in order to meet John’s human needs “alone.” Encouraged by others in my family, John and I joined a Family Camp week for a needed and enlivening change of scene. The whole wonderful staff pitched in with the help we needed, undaunted by the lifting and carrying and pushing, which were required to help John have camp experiences.
He sailed, he swam, he tubed, he created artwork, he danced…and he had the thrill of the spotlight at the Talent Show! John’s utter delight in everything – expressed continually with not-so-subtle enthusiasm! — was the result of the spirit of abundant, unstoppable joy, always so typical of camp, which brings, in untold (and surprising!) ways, a fuller concept of Man’s completeness, his infine abilities…and their sustenance.
Afterward, I couldn’t imagine how we could afford to return, and yet I couldn’t bear to have Family Camp disappear from John’s experience. Enhanced by the support established by Rainbow Valley, our family has been able to give him this special embrace during what he considers his “Best Week of the Year.” Each summer I love know that a “Team John” comes into being at camp, composed of energetic siblings and helpful camp staff and RVRN!
Be assured that everyone in our family recognizes RVRN’s generosity. The impetus and meaning of this is not lost on us. It is one part of the great Love which brings us here, welcomes us, embraces us, supports us, invites us to new victories, and sends us home to spread it around at every opportunity.
We send you all our deepest gratitude,
Marilyn, John, and his family “Team”!
John lives life to the fullest at Camps Newfound & Owatonna.