Trevor’s Story

by Andrea Wackerle

This testimonial was submitted in November 2014 by the Mother and Step-Father of a long-time SOAR camper. They saw the difference that SOAR made in their son’s life and wanted to help provide meaningful SOAR adventures for other kids like Trevor. We hope you will connect with their story and join other families in making a gift to the SOAR Scholarship Fund this giving season.

Six years ago, my son Trevor embarked on his first SOAR adventure. To say he was leary of this new/unknown experience is an understatement. But I was hopeful that SOAR would be our Obi-Wan. For years we supported, nurtured, and cheered for Trevor while he road the ADHD rollercoaster. But we had reached an impasse. Trevor was coming home from school, defeated. His peers had discovered Trevor’s uniqueness and were beginning to make fun of him/bully him. As a parent, you will do anything and everything to protect your child. You teach them to keep their chin up and know that they are loved, but no matter what is taught at home, school is still a struggle. Let’s face it, kids can be mean, and it was taking a toll on Trevor. I was desperate to find a program that shared my beliefs. A place that would show Trevor that he is not his disability. So I went to the internet and found SOAR. I remember reading the description and parent comments and thinking that this was it! SOAR is our Obi-Wan! Then I looked at the price and thought there is no way! The SOAR price tag can be staggering, but what cost is too much when it comes to helping our children?

I weighed my options, continue to see my son struggle or give SOAR a try. So we did it! Trevor was signed up for his first 12 day backpacking adventure and boy was he mad! “Why do I have to do this?” “Why are you sending me away?” I tried to explain to him what we were doing and why, but it did not matter. So on June 12th of 2009 we hopped in the car and drove from Milwaukee WI to SOAR’s Balsam Base Camp. The minute we arrived we were greeted by SOAR’s fantastic staff. They made us feel welcome and secure. I was assured that my son would be in good hands. And boy were we right! I returned 12 days later to find my son grinning ear to ear. He was happy, healthy and just a tad bit stinky 🙂 I remember reading SOAR’s Achievement Plan (sic) for Trevor and starting to tear-up. The things they wrote about my son were unbelievable. SOAR saw a part of Trevor that we have never seen. I was so excited to see how Trevor would take his new found strength and discovery into the new school year. I was even more excited to sign him up for the following summer. Trevor had told me, “no Mom, I’m not sure that I want to go back.” But by October he was ready. After 3 years of hearing “no I don’t want to go”, and then “Mom I will go to SOAR”.I asked why he keeps changing his mind. Trevor told me, “because Mom, the people at SOAR get me. At SOAR the kids are all the same. We all have a disability and its what makes us awesome.” It was at this moment that I realized what a positive impact SOAR has been on my son’s life.

I’ve had other people tell me that Trevor is so sure of himself and willing to take on new challenges. My son is smiling and laughing more, he no longer believes that he is his disability. SOAR did this for Trevor. The camp staff and campers were able to show Trevor everything we had told him. Talk about positive reinforcement! I jokingly told people that SOAR needed to be our Obi-Wan, our only hope. But it turned out to be true. We desperately hoped to find a place like SOAR and we did. To say thank you SOAR, does not seem like enough. We want to share the SOAR experience with other children like Trevor. So while we cant afford to send another child to camp, hopefully our donation can help. Thank you to everyone at SOAR that has touched Trevor’s life! You’ve made a difference!! Looking forward to year 6-Post Grad Adventure!