Editor’s Note: Meet Shallon. She visited ACE Adventure Resort last summer with her Girl Scout troop. Her mother wrote us a letter about their trip. We hope you enjoy it. Do you have a great vacation story? We’d love for you to share it with us.
ACE Adventure Resort,
This letter is long overdue but I’m just getting around to writing it. I wanted to express my appreciation for the programs and staff at ACE Adventure Resort. I visited with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop back in June. We had a group of about 22 from Michigan on our annual trip down to ACE.
There’s something to be said for this high-adventure activity, but mostly for the wonderful staff that make this so fun, challenging and purely enjoyable. ACE has such a special place in our hearts for what they have to offer. You see, my daughter, Shallon, who turned 19, has Down Syndrome.
I have fought for most of Shallon’s life for her to be able to participate and be included in everyday activities and experiences that most of us take for granted. But it is apparent at ACE that she is welcomed with open arms just like everyone else.
One staff member that really stands out is Josh, who was our zip-line canopy tour guide again. Josh had helped Shallon through a few challenges during our first trip in 2008 and even remembered her when we arrived this year. But what really stood out this year was a discussion Josh and I had before we headed out to the zip course.
We were discussing one of the new zips (zip 6, I think) that requires you to unhook and go down a ladder. Josh explained to me how the whole process worked and asked if Shallon would be able to do this by herself. I told him I didn’t think she would be able to do both of these things by herself. This sounded very difficult for her, and I told Josh maybe we should skip that zip if that part was too hard.
But he told me, “We want to find a way to make it work for her.” I was stunned. Do you know how refreshing that statement was to me? How easy it would have been for Josh to say, “OK, We’ll have her skip that one.” After all, here I was, her mother already agreeing it was OK to skip.
But Josh never saw that as an option. He wanted everyone to get the full experience. And he did make it work for Shallon by making suggestions and giving assistance. And what a great zip this was — it would have been a shame to miss it. And just for the record, Shallon was much braver than I was leaving the platform.
I want Josh to know how much this meant to me, not only for what he did to make this possible, but also for his genuine way of dealing with Shallon as a person. The smile on her face said it all and she’ll live off these adventures for a long time.
Thank you Josh and all the staff at ACE. We’ll see you next year!
Kris K. (a.k.a. Shallon’s Mom)
Ann Arbor, MI