|Menachem Weiss, a special needs teen with CP, reports every week to "Merkaz Ha'inyanim" on living with a handicap, the angle of life that he is familiar with.
The annual summer camp of Ezer Mizion's Matan Club for kids with CP finally arrived. I look forward to it the entire year. Every year, we go for a four-day retreat with Mattan, each time to a different location. This time, we went to a place called Shavei Zion, on the seaside near Nahariya.
The trip started on Friday morning. We assembled in Petach Tikvah, and as soon as we came, a surprise awaited us. Usually, those of us who are in a wheelchair have to travel in a special vehicle for the handicapped, where we sit crowded together and can't see anything on the way. This time, they had a special bus for the wheelchair-bound, with a ramp that lifted us aboard. We sat comfortably, with plenty of room, and we were able to see the view all the time. Of course, my attendant was also on the bus, but he sat at the back.
The first place we came to was Akko. In Akko we ate, and then we went down to the beach. At the beach, each boy was given a towel as a gift. My attendant looked for a beach chair for me, but he didn't find one. Then I suggested that we come close to the water with my wheelchair, and near the water, he lowered me from the wheelchair to the sand. I don't think I was at the beach since I was five. I forgot how good it feels. I really enjoyed it. It was a marvelous experience.
After the beach, we continued to the hotel at Shavei Zion. We got rooms specially fitted for the handicapped and they were excellent. We got ready for Shabbat and went to the Beit Knesset. The Kabbalat Shabbat prayers were full of song; it was very beautiful and moving. There was a lot of singing at the Shabbat meal too, as well as divrei Torah. We went to sleep tired and gratified.
On Shabbat morning, the tefillah began at 9:00, and when we finished, there was Kiddush with coffee and cake. Then the entire group went to learn with their regular counselor.
I forgot to mention that my personal counselor, Yedidya, whom I knew from Karnei Shomron, was also on the trip and helped me with the tefillot. I really like him. After the learning session, we went to the dining room for the Shabbat meal, and afterwards, we had time to rest. At tefillat Minchah, I was called up to the Torah and I was very excited about it. After Minchah, we went out for a walk near the sea and around the area. Se'udah shlishit was a lavish spread, like the other meals. After havdalah, we watched a film.
On Sunday, we received t-shirts and hats as a gift and set off for Rosh Ha'nikrah. At Rosh Ha'nikrah, they put us on ATV's and we went for a ride in the area. It was my first time on an ATV and it was really exciting. At Rosh Ha'nikrah, we ate lunch, and then, when we got back to the hotel, they took us to the pool. I, and my attendant too, really enjoyed the pool, and we stayed in the water a long time. It was great. After supper, there was a sort of "Good-bye Party," with music, very lively. We again went to sleep very late.
On Monday, at tefillat shacharit, I again was called to the Torah. After breakfast, we got on the buses and went to an Air Force Camp in Ramat David. First we saw a film and then they took us to the runway where the planes take off. The noise was deafening. They were fighter planes. From there, they took us on a tour and we saw how they take care of the planes. We went out to lunch, which was in a school in the area, and there too we had music and had a good time. We came home tired but very, very satisfied.
I want to thank everybody, the organizers and the counselors, for the marvelous, successful camp, and also, of course, my attendant whom I love so much. I am happy he was there with me. I am already looking forward to camp next year.
Until next time - see you!
From me, M. Weiss
Matan - Ezer Mizion's Activity Club for Kids with CP