Category Archives: Special Olympics

Things I’ve Learned…

Here are ten things I’ve learned this year through running a Special Olympics Swim Team:

1. Simon Says is easily the funniest game on the face of the planet.

“Simon Says: look as cheerful as an awesome possum!”

2. Camp songs are really fun in the pool (and a super good way to kill time if you’re waiting for someone).

3. Behaviours are more difficult to stop in a pool and pool decks are really hard (but, the warm pool is generally a good calming tool).

4. Running on the deck is going to happen.

5. Asking the Athletes to “cover their ears if you can hear me” is mostly just confusing for everyone. Stick with touching your head.

6. What Time Is It Mister Wolf, is much more confusing than you’d think.

“What time is it Mister Wolf”

“Freeze, you’re the wolf so they ask you”

“Why am I even a wolf. Wolves don’t swim. I’m gunna be a SHARK”

7. Dedicated volunteers are hard to come by but, when you do find them, they are the best people on earth.

8. Swim meets are pure chaos but seeing someone get their ribbon at the end makes every second of craziness worth it.

9. I am nothing if not adaptable.

10. Getting all of the Athletes to sit on the pool deck with their feet in the water while their coaches stand a few feet away in the pool and having the Athletes splash their coaches is: a) hilarious and b) a really good way to practice kicking.

And an extra special #11:

11. I have the best Athletes/Caregivers and Coaches ever.

I’ve had the greatest time taking over my local Special Olympics Swim Team this season and it has been a blast. We’ve definitely had our rough patches but, I’ve learned from those and I’m excited to have an even better program in place for next year!

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Another amazing summer and the start to an exciting year.

For those of you who don’t know, I work at camp for children, youth and adults with Different Abilities. Belwood Lodge and Camp, is by far my most favourite place in the world. There is so much I could say about it but I won’t bore you with all of it. Just go check out the website and you can read all about it’s amazingness. I am honoured to say that Belwood has realistically changed my life immensely. Belwood helped me to confirm where and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and it’s taught me so much. Belwood provides and amazing vacation experience for some really great people who otherwise wouldn’t get one. I have met some of my best friends at Belwood and the relationships I’ve made there are unlike any other relationships I have. I am forever thankful for the experiences camp has given me. Now, the 2013 summer season has come to an end and it was a really great summer. I’m sad that it’s over, but the rest of this year is a super exciting one!

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I’ve completely re-done our local Special Olympics swim program (using a lot of the advice you guys gave me- thanks!) and I think it’s going to rock! I’ve gathered a group of coaches who seem really interested and excited about the program which is a HUGE plus. I have a lot of faith in my program and coaches and I think it’s going to be an amazing swim season. I really think our athletes are going to love it.

I’ll also be coaching the Guelph Giants again, my super awesome Special Hockey International team. That’s super exciting. SHI is an amazing organization and I’m so thankful to be involved with it. You can read all about how I feel about SHI here.

I am continuing with my DSW studies this fall and should be done in May. This is also exciting.

All in all, it’s going to be great year.

Special Olympics 2011

Yesterday (thursday the 19th) was the 10th annual Special Olympics board wide track meet! It was a very amazing and muddy day. I had the wonderful opportunity of going to SO with my coop school. This was a pretty cool experience because I got to see the SO from a different view, instead of being a peer coach I got to see the Olympics from the role of a teacher/EA. It was a pretty sweet experience. I am so very very proud of each of my students and each and every person who competed. I am especially proud of like I said my coop kids and of my friends at CW. I was fortunate to be able to go on see some of the events the CW guys were in and that was pretty special because I’ve gone to SO with some of those guys for six years. I want to thank all of the peer helpers, this couldn’t go on with out you and you really brighten the athletes lives when you become their special helpers and cheer them on! Thank you!