Along the New River in North Carolina, there is 160 acres of beautiful land where families with special needs can go for a rare blessing. Freedom.
We have been blessed as a special-needs family to go to this place called Camp New Hope. We experienced freedom from doctor’s visits, housework, cell phones ringing continuously, and freedom from the weight of our daily grind. Going on vacation with a medically fragile child can be not only a logistical challenge, but an emotional challenge as well.
Certainly, traveling to Camp New Hope still has the basic logistics involved of carrying any special-needs equipment specific to the child, but the emotional challenge is removed once you get there. This is one place where we were able to go and truly “let our hair down” as a family. We didn’t have to worry about groceries as they were provided and some meals were even cooked for us by the Camp’s director, Miss Randy. (You don’t want to miss her cooking!) There is even accessibility for wheelchairs in the lodge and a special-needs bathroom complete with roll-in shower. Macayla needed her special items and food of course, but the rest of the family just needed to bring clothes and a toothbrush.
That is the amazing part of the Camp New Hope experience. It is as much for the family as it is for the special-needs child. Siblings have plenty of fun stuff to do and experience. There are 160 acres to explore of woods, river, and fields by foot or all-terrain mini-trucks. Canoes, video games, sports, wildlife, and toys. Parents can actually relax for a change and not have to juggle cooking, house chores, or work with the care of their child. Instead, they can just enjoy their family in a place of peace.
It is a place of peace and freedom. It renews hope because these families are not alone in their struggle. They have a haven to go to and be refreshed. Recreation can become an opportunity for re-creation as the love of Christ motivates this Camp’s existence. Hope is often misunderstood or narrowed in its definition too much. Parents like us hope for healing for our children, but that is not the only hope we can have. There is hope and healing when we discover that someone truly cares for us and wants to meet a need we have that few can understand.
Hope is not wishful thinking at Camp New Hope. Hope is an expectation or desire that something will happen or is true. At Camp New Hope, the hope that someone truly cares is realized. The hope that joy can be experienced in the midst of a difficult circumstance is realized. The hope that God and His love are real is realized.
If you are looking for a Christmas gift idea, why not give a donation to Camp New Hope in honor of a loved one. The economic times threaten the existence of this great place. You can be a part of the hope and freedom this amazing place brings to many families. Simply click on the name Camp New Hope anywhere on this page and go to the Donations link to learn how to give.