Within 5 minutes of emailing my application to Camp Talisman, I got a phone call and a job offer. I accepted. I had no idea what I was in for. The job I was given was Trek Staff. And from what I knew I would be leading backpacking trips. Sounds good. But this was a camp for kids with Aspergers, high functioning Autism, severe ADHD, OCD, and ODD. Talisman is NOT a normal summer camp, and leading a 2 week backpacking trip with Talisman kids is CRAZY.
OK, so I had crazy kids and did crazy trips. It was a crazy intense summer with (crazy) pretty much ZERO time off. "Nazi Hippy Robot" was one name one kid called me hourly. Another flipped out any time people were laughing or if he heard the Happy Birthday song. The entire summer is one endless story of wierd things these kids did. It was probably the hardest job I ever had. But great things came out of that summer. For one, I liked what the challenge brought out in me, and this is the job that introduced me to SUWS of the Carolinas and wilderness therapy. I met my friend Sam working at Talisman— long live that mountain biking maniac. I also became acquainted with the lovely and talented Becky that summer, and it's my fondest love story. It's a story filled with coincidences and, well, cliché. We were sappy sweet camp lovers. It brings back strong emotions just to write about her; my relationship with her brought me so much joy. The picture to the right is of Sam and Becky, the two people Talisman brought me closest to.