Altered Camp Jabberwocky begins with the parade
The summer is off to a good start for Martha's Vineyard Cerebral Palsy Camp, known as Camp Jabberwocky, and campers and counselors are preparing for their participation in next week's Fourth of July parade.
Arthur Bradford, co-director of the camp, located in Vineyard Haven, said Tuesday, "Things are going really well. The campers arrived yesterday, so we're running around like crazy."
Mr. Bradford noted that, despite the changes the camp has undergone since last year, he is anticipating a great summer season. "Pretty much our entire crew of counselors is new, which is something we've never had before," he said, "but we have some old-time counselors who have stuck around to give some training to the new ones."
Jabberwocky campers parade in Edgartown in past 4th of July parade. Photo by Ralph Stewart
This summer marks the first season without the leadership of Jillian Lamb Butchman, who, along with her brother John Lamb, has served as a camp director for over three decades. Due to a dispute between Ms. Butchman and the board of directors, Ms. Butchman left Jabberwocky this past year to found The Tulgey Wood Camp on Nantucket. Her brother John remains on the Jabberwocky board of directors but is no longer a director of the camp. Joining Jillian on Nantucket this year are dozens of former Jabberwocky campers and counselors who were forced to choose between returning to Jabberwocky or heading to Tulgey Wood. Mr. Bradford, along with Johanna Romero de Slavy, both former longtime counselors, are now the July camp directors of Jabberwocky.
Addressing his concerns about the new changes, Mr. Bradford said, "We were a little nervous about how this summer was going to be. We have a slightly smaller camp this summer. We usually have 30 to 35 campers, and this year we have about 24."
Mr. Bradford remains optimistic that Jabberwocky's participation in this year's Fourth of July parade will be as inspiring as ever. Viewers of the parade consistently look forward to the performances of campers and counselors alike, and many consider it the highlight of the entire day.
"In terms of the parade," Mr. Bradford said with enthusiastic anticipation, "it's going to be really good." He said to expect lots of drumming and some "really cool costumes."
Mr. Bradford described the theme as "a kind of world beats, drums, colors theme. Drums are going to be a big part," he explained. "We're going to have drums attached to wheelchairs." Mr. Bradford said that Rick Baussman, an Islander who was first a counselor in 1980, is returning to lead the drumming in the parade.
"Part of the reason the parade is so fun is because the crowd gives so much to us," Mr. Bradford said. "So what I would hope is that, this year especially, people show us their support."
One of the new changes that Mr. Bradford and the rest of the camp is most excited about is the new camp blog. The blog, which can be viewed at Jabberwocky06.blog-spot.com, will be updated daily, with photos and descriptions of activities at the camp. Mr. Bradford said that they created the blog because "so many people have been asking about how camp is going this year. Everyone's curious to know what camp is like this summer." Already on the site are pictures of the campers' first day, set-up week, and a recent trip to the beach. From the campers' smiling faces, it looks like things at Jabberwocky this summer will be as memorable as ever.