The campers are back, and they were greeted by plenty of jumping and cheering.
On Monday morning, the 10:45 ferry brought the campers of Camp Jabberwocky, Martha’s Vineyard Cerebral Palsy camp, back to the Island for the 2012 season. In a mass of sparkling fabrics and bright colors, the counselors greeted this summer’s crew with traditional Jabberwocky energy, starting their cheers when the boat was still 100 feet away.
There were plenty of heartfelt “hellos,” high-fives and hugs once the passengers came off the ramp and through the tunnel of singing and smiling camp counselors. One counselor’s Indian headdress fell to the ground as a returning camper picked her up and gave her a squeeze. Another counselor in a sequenced printed dress also went airborne in a friendly bear hug. All of them letting out booming laughs.
Among the lot was fifth-year counselor Dave Musen, 23, from Newton. A friend told him that he should go and see Camp Jabberwocky. He has worked there ever since.
“There’s a lot going on this summer,” Mr. Musen said. “We’re going to do the annual play and the parade in the same session this summer — that’s a lot for one session. We’ve also got a lot of new counselors this year. There’s definitely going to be a brief adjustment period.” But this is Camp Jabberwocky, he said. “It’ll probably take all of three days for everyone to feel at home.”
One of the new counselors, Beth Oliverio, 19, awaited the campers wearing a poncho, a tutu and a set of red antlers. Ms. Oliverio, rising sophomore at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., admitted that she didn’t know what to expect this summer.
“I really don’t know exactly where I’m headed with my psychology major,” she said. “I think this hands-on learning experience will help me figure it out.”
So far, that hands-on work has consisted of cleaning the camp and preparing for what promises to be a busy season, but now the fun can really begin.
The succession of animated Jabberwockians paraded past the bus stop and up Main street, en route to the camp. Several curious onlookers who may not have known what was going on cleared the path for the moving herd and gawked at the diverse wigs, slippers and socks.
This greeting marks the beginning of Camp Jabberwocky’s 59th year on the Vineyard. The Flatbread Company will put a portion of all pizza sales toward Camp Jabberwocky on Tuesday, July 3. A memorial for Helen Lamb, the late founder of the camp, will take place at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs on July 26. And the annual 5K Run for Jabberwocky is scheduled for Saturday, August 18. Registration will remain open online at runforjabberwocky.com until the event.