Helen Lamb and Camp Jabberwocky will be honored as recipients of the 2009 Creative Living Award on August 11 at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury beginning at 5:30 p.m. All are invited.
Administered by the Permanent Endowment Fund of Martha’s Vineyard, the Creative Living Award was established in 1983 through the Ruth J. Bogan and Ruth Redding Fund. The fund honors the memory of Ruth Bogan who, in the words of her friend Ruth Redding, was a “gallant woman who loved beauty, who loved the Vineyard and who believed anyone can do anything.” The award recognizes members of the Vineyard community who embody that spirit and love for the Island.
Through resourcefulness, perseverance and strength of character, Helen Lamb has guided Camp Jabberwocky from a modest beginning to a program that now offers five weeks of summer camp for more than 30 campers each session. Campers range in age from eight to 65. Some have cerebral palsy or spina bifida. Others come with Down’s syndrome or autism. All participate in days filled with art and poetry as well as dancing, movies, fishing, sailing and evenings that are just as busy. Camp Jabberwocky campers and counselors are a familiar sight around the Island in the summer, enjoying time at the beach, marching in the Fourth of July parade and creating candy at Chilmark Chocolates.
From the beginning, Camp Jabberwocky has relied on the generosity of the Vineyard community to operate and Islanders have responded generously. Everything from food to cots to clothing has been donated and camp counselors all still volunteer their time each summer. That local support has continued over the years as Camp Jabberwocky reminds Islanders of the joy that comes from giving and being an active contributor to the community. As Helen wrote in 1958, “Perhaps the thing I am most grateful for is that the people of Martha’s Vineyard do not offer us pity, as that is not the help these children need. Rather it is the giving of concrete things that makes it possible for these children to participate in normal and happy childhood experiences that make us grateful to the people of Martha’s Vineyard and make our cerebral palsy camp the living miracle it has become.”