Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before… He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.
Kurt Vonnegut ,
“Our first day on the slopes was absolutely beautiful. What was even more amazing is the CAMO group – the staff and pros are so patient, compassionate and true professionals. Fear is gradually replaced with confidence by their excellent coaching skills and positive reinforcement. Understand they do push us to perform but with proper guidance. Yesterday was literally tweak day…working out all the bugs with prosthesis, braces…the team is well synchronized…i observed their constant adjustments flowing seamlessly to accomodate unexpected soldier needs on the slopes. Additionally, watching our soldiers support each other is also great to witness. I think the environment facilitates soldiers to open up. The communication is healing for most.”
CAMO/Brook Army Medical Center ,
“Thanks you…I had a great time…I can’t express the depth of meaning the trip had towards my journey of finding some sort of peace…It’s odd how we find some sort of lifeline in the strangest situations… From the bottom of my heart I thank you…
CAMO Women’s Mountain Retreat ,
This past week with you and everyone at C.A.M.O was amazing; your personality along with your team’s was welcoming, fun and caring.
What a blessing C.A.M.O is! I’m grateful that this opportunity came our way and that we came out of it with great friendships. I got to witness Willmer smiling — which is rare. I saw a light in his eyes that say a day before our trip, I would have said was non existent. This experience is truly transformative.
Willmer repeated, “I feel free” throughout the trip. As his wife, to hear that, well… It meant plenty to finally see this person who usually is so uptight and strict, be fun and free. Thank you for giving him this chance to let his real self come alive. The war in Iraq has stained his life, but for this moment while out in the mountains of Snowmass, he found freedom . THANK YOU! To all the donors who make CA.M.O possible, you have my infinite gratitude.
Laura Suarez and Willmer Canas from Miami ,
The CAMO program is very unique for many reasons. First, the location is amazing. Aspen’s surroundings are as calming as they are breathtaking. Second, the staff are caring, attentive, motivated, positive and ready to assist you with anything. Lastly, the experience is powerful in that it can change your mindset from what you think you CAN’T do to proving what you’re capable of.
Stacy Pearsall, Staff Sergeant, Retired – Veteran’s Portrait Project ,
Crystal has been a ski instructor and a camp buddy for JR for about 15 years. She knows him well as a unique person with disabilities. She always managed to challenge him to do more, to do his best. The years have been delightful as we have watched Crystal and JR ski the slopes of Snowmass – first in a bi-ski, then to a slider, and finally to skiing with a bamboo pole.
Because Crystal has developed injuries and JR has gotten bigger, she is no longer able to ski with JR. We want to publicly thank her for the impact that she has made on JR. She has been a major part of shaping him into a young man who loves adventure and likes to try new things (at least some of the time). They banter back and forth as good friends – joking and laughing all the while.
Thank you Crystal. You will always have a special place in our hearts.
Deb, Steve, and JR Streff ,
I am Jennifer Arkin. I have cerebral palsy and I am legally blind. I have been skiing since 1977, when I learned to ski in the Colorado mountains. I have been skiing ever since.
Now, I am 45 years old. I have skied with the Challenge Aspen Program for the past three years. They provide me with a guide and I ski at my own level. I don’t use poles, but I use my arms like a plane for balance. I love to ski. Skiing is my most favorite sport. When I ski down a slope, I feel like I am gliding down the hill and I feel so free.
When I turned 40, my hip started to hurt and I could not ski or walk, and I had to use a wheelchair for an entire year. I had a huge surgery on my left hip and it was successful. Now I am back skiing and enjoying the mountain.
I want to praise Challenge Aspen. They have a terrific program for anyone with special needs. I am thankful for this program and I highly recommend it.
Jennifer Arkin ,
The C.A.M.O. program allows individuals the chance to overcome adversity and do things they may think was no longer possible. This program is truly amazing and so are the individuals that keep it up and running.
MICHAEL BOUCHER ,
Last winter when your professionals gave me the ability to ski again, it was glorious! They took me down parts of the mountain that I had always loved and that I thought I would never see again. They gave me the ability to dance again, to feel whole, to feel great! It will never be the same steps, the same song, but it is still dancing down the slopes!