My name is Sarah and I have been involved with the Looking Glass Foundation since August of 2004 when I was invited to go to the organization's first ever summer camp as a camper. I was excited at the opportunity to attend and to have a week of freedom from my eating disorder. I was thrilled at the idea of having a week to feel normal and to be understood without having to explain myself.
However, the fear of the unknown slowly began to overwhelm me as the day to go to camp crept closer. I was worried about the food, exercise limitations and meeting new people. I decided to go anyway and I’m so glad that I did because summer camp was a life changing experience.
I was able to let go, open up and feel for once that I did not have this heavy secret to hide. At camp you are pushed outside your comfort zone, or at least I was, a night time charades, meal time chants and morning time dance party sessions. The biggest impact was having inspirational support staff who shared their stories and were open to all of our questions. I felt so much hope leaving camp because throughout that week, people had taken the time to help me see that recovery was possible and that the process did not always have to be hard - they showed me that it was okay to open up and have some fun.
Two years later I returned to camp as a Peer Support Volunteer and enjoyed it so much that I went back again the next year. Each time I volunteered at the camp I learned so much about myself. As a Peer Support Volunteer I had the opportunity to view camp from another perspective because my role was to share my growth and ongoing journey with the campers. I was still quite shy and introverted, but with the support of the Looking Glass Staff and the camp counselors I was able to challenge myself to walk outside my comfort zone to continue growing and to help other people along in their journey.
Each one of my camp experiences has impacted my life in ways that I cannot fully explain. I still talk with the Looking Glass support staff and campers today as we formed deep bonds that have lasted through the years. I feel that no words can fully express how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Looking Glass Foundation’s camp. It was seven amazing days that get wrapped up into one life changing experience. I know you will love it - I sure did!
Sarah is an incredible member of the Looking Glass' community and we are honoured that she has chosen to share her story.
Our 2013 summer camp is currently full, however we encourage you to put your name on the waiting list. More information can be found by clicking here.