Mikey Conroy was never able to meet his sister Mary who passed away when she was four. On Mary’s last Christmas, she only wanted two things: a red race car and a real baby boy named Michael. Mary passed away the next month. The following December, Michael was born.
Mikey is a kind, warm-hearted kid who loves sports and riding his skimboard. When Mikey’s family found out about Experience Camps, they signed him right up. Mikey was a little nervous to attend camp for the first time this past summer. He had never been to sleepaway camp or away from his family. He also wasn’t sure how it would be to be at a camp where everyone had someone in their life who died.
Mikey always asks the question, “Which is harder, being the person in the family who knew the person who died, or being the person in the family who didn’t know the person who died?” At camp, he finally met other kids who he could talk with about this question. Some of his camp friends hadn’t met the person or were too young to remember the person as well. It really helped knowing that other kids were also struggling with that impossible question.
A week at ManEx not only let Mikey connect with other campers who’ve experienced the death of a family member, but also gave him a week of fun, too! He quickly realized how much he loved being at camp. Mikey really liked his counselors, bunkmates, and other kids who he became friends with. One of his favorite moments was during the Mr. ManEx competition. Mikey got to perform his “cricket noise” which was followed with an “instant legend” and “that was awesome” chant! For the rest of the week, kids kept coming up to him saying “Mikey, cricket noise” to the point where his throat hurt since he was doing it so much!! He became “camp famous!” It was seriously “the best week ever!”
Being a part of a community where Mikey knows he is accepted, can have fun, and is truly loved has been transformative. He’s counting down the days until he returns to ManEx for summer 2019!
Below you can find a poem that Mikey wrote about his sister Mary.