The New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome’s annual family retreat weekend will take place June 8-10, 2012, at YMCA Camp Bernie in Hunterdon County. Here is a personal testimony from SandyW and her family. For more information or to sign up for this year’s camp, please visit the Family Retreat Weekend page or the Family Retreat Weekend story on NJCTS’ website.
I can tell you in a nutshell finding out about Camp Bernie was a true BLESSING! I have never been anywhere else in 17 years for an entire weekend were I felt as calm, relaxed and peaceful for all of us as a family. There was a comfort and freedom I hadn’t experienced anywhere else.
Last June was our first visit because we only found out about Camp Bernie two weeks before the actual family weekend retreat. There had been a question if there would be enough space for another family and Kelley (from the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome), who is an amazing and wonderful lady, helped to make everything work for us.
Our family has a pop-up camper, and we love opportunities to do things with our children. So Kelley helped make the accommodations so that we could come with our camper. We met awesome families, heard life stories, and shared laughter and tears.
Camp Bernie for me is a place to be yourself — a calm, safe, peaceful relaxing environment to let your hair down and have good, clean family fun. Some of the activities included an ice breaker to get to know people, family games, rock painting, canoeing, swimming, horseback riding, campfires, discussion groups, educational information, and my 16-year-old’s favorite — bringing along anything white and learning how to tie-dye.
The diagnosis of Tourette’s gives us a common thread even though we are all very unique, different and special. To the families we met, THANK YOU for being who you are and how you opened your hearts and lives to us and helped us to know we are not alone in this JOURNEY. You are all amazing! Oh yes, we are hoping to return this year!