"Together We Can"
est. 1957
Annual Letter

Read below to find out first hand how The Fowler Center is impacting the lives of our campers and their families!  We need you. We cannot do it alone.... "TOGETHER WE CAN"

​Since 2012 our Annual Appeal has been a true testimonial from the parents of our campers. This year Ron and Mary Hable wrote a heartfelt letter describing just how the Fowler Center has impacted their lives, and that of their son. I hope the words below will inspire you to consider a donation which will help ensure the delivery of our mission to serve children and adults with special needs.
 
At the age of 16 we transitioned our son CJ from a mainstream camp to Camp Fowler as he had reached their age limit for programs. We chose to start with a week in the cabins.  I have to admit my husband had to pull me all the way to the car as I cried leaving my son with multiple challenges, including autism, to a group of “strangers”. As many parents know, no one can take care of our children like us. I should clarify that CJ never looked back as I was being dragged like a crazy person down the hill sobbing. That was almost 8 years ago. Today, I am a proud parent of a Camp Fowler camper!
 
After a couple summers CJ moved from the cabins to the Outpost (a rustic, platform tent program that includes off site trips). By the end of his first summer there, and to this day, the Outpost is his favorite. When Life TREX was established in 2014 CJ applied and was accepted. He spent the next two summers there, which initially was one-month long. It was so remarkable when we received a letter from him. Though unable to read 90% of it except, “I love you Mom and Dad”, no better gift could a parent receive! On parent’s day there was my son, waiting at the corner of the tent 10lbs lighter and with a tanned little nose. He ran to us with a big hug giving us the sense of what a great job the counselors were doing. He just couldn't tell us enough, in his own way, about them.
 
CJ came home a completely calm person. I will say he did admit he missed us being apart that long. He was able to do so many things at home that he never did before. I was in shock. My husband and I realized Life TREX taught him life without the comforts of Hotel Mom and Dad. He experienced, and continued to improve in peer to peer mediation, hygiene, how to maintain his area, how to shop, how to cook & follow directions, and as he would say “had some great dinners”. Two years later, he continues to use those skills and I will always be grateful.

Today, I do not cry leaving him. I cry knowing he will be safe, having fun, and learning in ways he wouldn’t be able to experience at home (a true testimony to the Fowler Center’s mission).
 
From weekend respites to 2 week camps, our family is blessed. This year he took a weekend trip with 9 other campers to Chicago and couldn't say enough about the Sears tower. I laugh because we have been to Chicago and have never taken him to the Sears tower. It was not on his bucket list. Funny what this camp can do for our adult children.
 
Our entire experience at Camp Fowler has taught our family that CJ has so much more to offer. He asks every year “When does camp start?”. I wish I remembered who told me about this camp, I would thank them. Now when we are in line to drop CJ off and I see the parents of the first year campers I love to tell our story.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ron and Mary Hable (parents of CJ)