Above: Chris stands with Lisa and Bob Grove
Community Member Spotlight: Lisa Grove
Hello, I’m the ‘Bonus Mom’ to Chris Grove, a wonderful young man who also happens to have autism. When I met Chris, he was 13, non-verbal, very introverted, and did not participate in, what I would call, typical activities. Chris was also a “runner.” What I mean is, we had to secure and monitor his whereabouts 24/7. Chris, by working with wonderfully generous teachers and the ABA program, began to slowly communicate, understand direction, and eventually lost interest in running away.
After Chris graduated from high school, we looked for opportunities to keep his development and community engagement evolving. That’s when we learned about Parkview Services, and Camp Parkview.
Camp Parkview takes place over 5 days and is an overnight camp for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DDs). Chris had never gone to camp before, and I remember being extremely anxious over whether or not he would enjoy it. I knew this would be a way for Chris to meet friends, learn more about nature, play games and experience what every kid (and adult) deserves.
The first year we dropped Chris off at Camp Burton on Vashon Island, my husband and I were reluctant to leave until we knew we was comfortable. Well, Chris immediately started exploring the campground and cabins with his cabinmates, counselors and volunteers. They were all there to ensure a safe camping adventure for all. For the next five days, my husband and I waited at home near our phones waiting for a call to come pick him up. I’m happy to say that that call never came. When we picked up Chris on the last day of camp, he was happy, had a bag full of artwork, prizes from games he played. Best of all, Chris had a lot of new friends! Chris looks forward to camp every year now and has lifelong friendships from the experience!
Parkview Services fully embodies the spirit of people helping people. That mission permeates across all their programs and ensures that people with I/DDs feel included in their communities. Whether it’s through affordable housing, group living or socializing through camp and art activities; their programs empower the I/DD community with opportunities, dignity, stability, and a sense of belonging.
Above: Chris Grove with volunteer Tyler Henry at Camp Parkview’s annual “Spa Day.” At Spa Day, campers get their hands dipped in wax, paint nails, get vital foot care, and other relaxing activities.