Joy in life epitomized by AAD Camp Discovery
Becky Joseph, a medical student from Lubbock, Texas, loved her time at Camp Discovery.
As a medical student with a passion for dermatology and pediatrics, my decision to attend Camp Discovery, organized by the AAD, was driven by the hope of gaining more insights into these fields. Little did I know that this summer camp would offer me much more than that; it would touch my heart and forever change my perspective.
At the outset, I envisioned Camp Discovery as an opportunity to see dermatologic conditions like EPP, XP, eczema, alopecia, and more which I’ve learned about and that fascinated me. But what I didn’t anticipate was the profound impact it would have on me. Beyond the medical aspects, Camp Discovery revealed a world where children who are often seen primarily through the lens of their illnesses could simply be kids.
The camp provided a safe haven for these remarkable children to embrace life fully, unburdened by their conditions. It was inspiring to witness their resilient spirits. Over the course of the week, we created bonds that transformed our cabin into a family. Laughter, shared secrets, friendship bracelets, clay art, indoor and outdoor obstacle courses, and late-night swims created unforgettable memories.
What struck me most was the way we focused not on their diseases but on giving them a taste of normalcy, allowing them to be themselves without any worries. It was a week of empowerment, of building each other up, and of forming lasting connections. We took in all the inside jokes and navigated the world of camp crushes, just like any group of friends.
As the week drew to a close, our time together became even more precious. The “Wishbone Night” was a memorable moment. Despite the sadness of parting ways, there was an overwhelming sense of encouragement and unity. Watching them make wishes and light candles, their hopes drifting into the distance, was a beautiful metaphor for their journey. It reinforced the importance of cherishing every moment and supporting each other.
Camp Discovery taught me that these children were more than their conditions; they were warriors with dreams, just like any other kids. It’s an experience that has left an indelible mark on my heart, reminding me to see beyond the illnesses and appreciate the beauty of each individual. Friendship, empathy, resilience, and the joy of life were the true treasures I discovered at Camp Discovery, and I will forever carry these lessons with me.
Support Camp Discovery
Camp Discovery provides children with chronic skin conditions the opportunity to make friends, find acceptance, and be themselves. Learn more about how you can get involved.Get involved