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Camp LimbBo 2024

It’s almost 24 hours since Camp LimbBo ended and, as always, it’s taken a while for the magic of the weekend to sink in. When we started LimbBo in 2018 one of our aims was to ‘support limb different children and their families.’ We quickly discovered that the best way to do this was to get families together.

Camp LimbBo 2024 began on Friday afternoon with groups of shy children, sticking closely to their parents and looking around them very cautiously. It ended on Sunday afternoon with exhausted children who were dirt covered, beaming, calling out ‘I blame Captain Woody’, teasing and hugging each other with no idea where their parents were.

They threw themselves into every task (in some of them quite literally) – the words ‘Marley can’t swim’ came after he’d launched himself out of the canoe. They laughed when they were covered in mud, or their wellies were full of water. They giggled when they worked together to create faces on their little arms – Derek, Dave, Bob and Bruce are now members of Team LimbBo. (Note to self – buy less art supplies next year as they all just decorated themselves 😊 either that or leave a responsible adult (which rules out most of them) supervising)

We had Domino’s Pizza, Ice cream, Greggs sausage rolls, a barbeque with chips. We toasted marshmallows and sang and danced around a camp fire, run by Royston Scout leader ‘Piper’.

The ‘ LimbBo Way’ of doing things is to go with the flow – as long as it’s helping our children (and it’s safe!) go ahead! Timetables might need changing, menus altered, T shirts turned up 4 hours before camp started. Mud will wash off and fade, but memories will remain. We encourage our children to try and only help when they ask us to. It was great to see children asking whatever adult was around to tie their shoelace or wipe mud from their eye. It was great to hear people say – ‘try it and then you will know if you like it – don’t miss out by not trying.’ The cheers were the same whether a child climbed a couple of steps up the climbing wall or if they got to the top.

Yes, there were tears, but they were tears of pride (or hysterical tears of laughter at times!) from parents.

Arthur, our current youngest member met TommyD our first LimbBo member and it brought back so many memories for us. In Katie’s words – ‘When Tommy was born, we felt isolated and didn’t want others to feel as frightened as we were. ‘If only we’d known then what we know now’ is said so often!

To see our young ambassadors taking their role seriously made us so proud. Josh who was so quiet and shy when he joined us, was an assistant team leader and then took over a group on the Sunday. TommyD, Isabelle and our newest ambassador Skyla- Mae helped to set up, acted as runners to fetch and carry and supported younger children.

To our group leaders and volunteers – there are no words (lots of different bird calls!) and thank you seems inadequate but we couldn’t do this without you all.

We are all exhausted, as are the children but seeing them not hiding or covering up their limb difference, gaining in confidence, feeling safe and just being themselves is priceless. The future of LimbBo is in safe hands (and yes that pun IS intended) with these young people.

Adventure Day planning is now at the top of the list with 550 sign ups – are we panicking?.. of course not  (well maybe Jane is) – see you all on the 8th love Team LimbBo

PS Has anyone seen Teddy?

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