My Weekend at Camp Discovery, by Amber Gersch

Trish DowningPersonal BlogLeave a Comment

This is a great article written by Amber Gersch, a camper at the 2009 Camp Discovery:

I went to Camp Discovery on October 1-4,2009, founded by Tricia Downing.

She is a woman who had an accident ning years ago, has completed marathons and has a  definite drive to help other women with spinal cord injuries to challenge themselves to be the best they can be.

The first night was dinner and getting to know the fellow female campers as well as the many volunteers.  On Friday morning, some of the campers went to scuba, while everyone else traded off golfing and tennis.  I went to golf. There was a stationary seat that when the lever was pushed, it propped me up so that I could swing the golf club from a higher position. There was also an adaptable golf cart, when I transferred to that seat, I had an definite advantage from just golfing in my own chair.  Surprisingly, I did so well that our instructor and I had a distance competition!!

I played tennis also.  I transferred into a “sport” wheelchair that had slanted wheels. I guess I had exhausted my “hand-eye” coordination  because I didn’t do well in tennis.  I need to practice because I needed to maneuver around the court AND hold my tennis racket.

Late afternoon we went to the gym/bike shop. We did chair pilates and talked with Tricia’s personal trainer. That evening, we had a spa night, at the gym.  I was pampered to a massage, facial, and Bubble Goddess ( products, manicure with dinner and drinks.

Our life coach, Linda, wanted us to do “future boards,” where we were to cut out images, words, and meanings for what I would like to see in my future.
Saturday morning, some people stayed at the hotel for jewelry  making, and some people went hand cycling. We went hand cycling at Cherry Creek Reservoir.  We had many more volunteers from, NSCD (, Adaptive Adventures (, along with Challenged Athletes Foundation (  I went with an “able bodied” biker, on about a three mile bike ride.  Challenged Athletes Foundation has a grant process every year for people to apply to get a hand cycle.

Saturday afternoon we went ton a “psyche hike,” ( we went on a hike to take in the sights, sounds and smells.  We stopped and had a mediation, wrote down our thoughts, worries, fears and wants. This hike in the day, was very uplifting. Saturday night, we all came together to regroup and share our thoughts on the weekend.  Sunday was just to pack, unwind and leave the hotel.

I LOVED this camp, I learned so much about myself, both physically and mentally, as a woman who has Spina Bifida. I made many friends that we will keep in touch and hopefully we will see each other next year at Camp Discovery!!

–Amber Gersch

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