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Camp Promise-West

September 02, 2009

Quote of the week: “Daniel…good…to…see…you…” -All of camp after Logan told the kids it would annoy Daniel.

August 16–23, Camp Promise-West took place at Camp Stand By Me in Vaughn, WA. It was a camp for 30 kids with neuromuscular diseases, including DMD, created in response to the sudden nationwide cancellation of the camps these kids normally attend. To put this camp on, more than $18,000 was raised, campers and volunteer counselors were recruited, and an activities schedule was created and booked—all in just 6 weeks! But what does this have to do with DGW? Everything.

The Cabin Bees (a dozen 6- to 13-year-old boys) were led by “bee keeper” and goslabi groupie Terin Izil of Chicago, who also led the charge to organize camp.

Her cabin included counselor Sarah Reed and camper Aidan (above), son of DGW longtime supporters Mindy and Mitch Leffler, all of whom were involved in the Western Washington screenings. It was Aidan’s first time at sleep-away camp and he had a blast.

Next door was the home of the Rat Pack, whose counselors included DGW’s own Daniel Epting, shown here after being honeyed and stung (the bee version of tarred and feathered) by his neighbors in Cabin Bee.

DGW die-hard Tim Campbell, of Akron Rainmaker fame, flew all the way from Ohio just for camp, too.

Running arts ‘n crafts (or crafts ‘n arts as Daniel and Tim called it), was April Quint, also of the Western Washington trip. April is Terin’s mom and was an adoptive mother to Daniel and Tim during their stay in Washington. She treated the boys to coffee every morning, did their laundry, and even helped them get creative in arts ‘n crafts.

The week’s activities included dress up days,

lots of swimming and accessible boating,

visits from the Reptile Man, Donut Junkie, Jet City Improv, and the Mt. Rainier H.O.G. Chapter,

and karaoke. The Rat Pack made their singing debut with “Bust A Move,” accompanied by Tim (as a giant highlighter) and Terin (as a picnic) on Inanimate Object Day.

Of course, it wouldn’t be camp without a talent show

or a toga dance.

Thursday was movie night, featuring everyone’s favorite film, Darius Goes West. Many of the campers and counselors were watching the movie for the first time, so it finally clicked how crazy Daniel really is. The next morning, there was a video chat Q&A with Darius and Logan.

This magical week ended with an equally magical Barnyard Ball.

A romantic dinner for the older campers and their dates was served bayside by Daniel and Rat Pack Rockstar Erina Queen. The next morning, everyone went home with smiles on their faces and slept for a week.

Special thanks to ShirtWorks in Athens, Georgia, for printing our awesome “when pigs flu” t-shirts and shipping them all the way to Washington.

Another huge thanks to all of the Camp Promise-West sponsors and donors, especially the entire DGW family for encouragement, support, and personal donations.

And a million thanks to Daniel and Tim for flying across the country to be part of this special week, it wouldn’t have been the same without you. Plus, huge props to Terin for all her work envisioning the camp and mobilizing her army of supporters to realize a great week.

For more information about Camp Promise West, email


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5 Responses to “Camp Promise-West”

  1. On September 3rd, 2009, Barbara Smalley said:

    Terin rocks for pulling this off, and DGW is so proud of Daniel …and Tim, and Sarah, and Shirtworks.

  2. On September 3rd, 2009, Cari Clay said:

    So amazing, Camp Promise-West, was something amazing. There’s something about these kids/counselors, that you can’t find any where else. Being able to be apart of something to help change someone’s life, or even put a smile on their face for a day.. it really makes you think about your own life, and what more you can do, to help one another. I’m proud to say that I was apart of Camp Promise-West, more importantly, I’m proud to say, it opened my eyes and changed my life. <3 Thank you Terin, Daniel, Timmy, Sarah, and everyone else that was apart of CPW.

  3. On September 4th, 2009, kathy moran-howe said:

    count us in for next year!!!! You guys should be so proud of yourselves! It makes me proud just to know and love you!

  4. On September 6th, 2009, Mark Daniels said:

    Camp Promise west was an awesome experience in the pursuit of kids dreams. Thanks to all mentioned above and the wonderful volunteers involved. From what I heard special thanks needs to go to Beth Schubert for all her hard work and being the Director of the camp. Without her and logistics the week wouldn’t have gone so smoothly. Hopfully Beth and all involved will see you all again next year.

  5. On December 30th, 2009, Judy Schneider said:

    Aidan Leffler had a wonderful time at camp. We were a bit concerned about overnight camp as he was only six, but the counselors and campers made this so special. As an ex-camp counselor myself, I applaud Terin and her crew for an excellent job!
    Aidan’s Grandma Judy

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