30 Days of MD: Cassie Brode

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by Kevin Schaefer |

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Day 21 of 30 Days of MD Topic: MD Camp Counselor This is @cas_jb’s story: I’ve been a counselor at MD camp for 7 years. My dad was a fireman and sponsor for MDA. Growing up, he took my little sister and I to all of the fundraisers. We’d stand on the corner with the firemen and hold the boots, we’d go to the cookout/restaurant fundraisers, and he would take us to VIP day at camp. From this, I started to build relationships within the community and could not wait to be old enough to become a counselor. I became a counselor at the Cleveland MDA camp at 15. I went into the week wanting to make a huge difference in my camper Anna’s life, but by the end of the week what I found was that she, and the rest of the campers, made more of a difference in mine than I could ever make in theirs. What I came across that week was an outpour of resilience, strength, positivity, love and encouragement. There was no judgement, no holding back and nothing but support. On the last day of camp, we have a tradition where the cabin leaders stand up near the fire, go down the line and they all take turns reciting a wish they have for everyone at the camp. While they are saying their wish, they each take some of the ashes from the closing campfire and put them in a tin that we use the next year in the opening campfire. Those wishes are meant to carry us through the rest of the year. The end of camp set the tone for the rest of our year, which was imperative. Camp ended on a bittersweet, supportive, life changing note. I have never been in a place filled with so much love. I don’t live in Ohio anymore, but camp will always be something I plan to come back for and carry with me every day of the year. Anna was my camper for 6 of my years at camp and to this day, she’s one of the most important people in my life – she was even a bridesmaid in my wedding last month. Camp’s about so much more than just supporting the campers, it’s about friendships that will last a lifetime. It’s about inclusiveness and proving that MD will never be able to take away what’s most important: love. Camp is proof that anything is possible. #MDAwarenessMonth #MDAwareness #30daysofmd

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