This week, 170 disabled people from all over the world and 350 volunteers were preparing to gather for a week’s holiday on the grounds of the naval school of Lanvéoc (Brittany,France). For what occasion? For the 31st International Summer Camp of the Order Of Malta, supported by the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation. Since 1984, the camp is set up in a different country every year. Let’s focus on Brittany, where we met two young friends with Down Syndrome, very close to the Foundation, who were excited and all ready and set to go. Meet Maguelone and Maud, both 22 years old.
Maguelone likes the movies and her big cousin Romain. It was actually him who convinced her to take part in the Summer Camp of the Order of Malta, for which he has been a volunteer for several years. He was lucky this year: after having passed through Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, and even Wales, the camp is being set up in France.
Rather quiet, Maguelonne sometimes finds it difficult to fight her timidity. But as soon as it comes to holidays and parties, “she is ready to do whatever it takes!” says her mother, Isabelle. And it is indeed the festive side of the camp that convinced her: the activities and the themed evenings.
Sand yachts, schooners, motorbikes, kayaks, rope courses… Without hesitating, Maguelone chose her favourite activities: horse riding, Breton dancing, sand yachting and her first time in a plane. She was not convinced by the diving though, despite the arguments of her dad, who is a passionate diver!
Also very motivated, Maud, who tends to say no to everything, threw herself into the adventure head first because of all the sport! The young girl likes the army, so when she was told that the camp was being held on the grounds of the naval school and that she would be allowed to pilot a boat, “she couldn’t stop smiling”, her mum explains. “She, who really isn’t into sports, was willing to do all the sporting activities!” On her agenda: kayaking, an outing in a sidecar, her first time diving and a rescue-at-sea exercise with the naval base’s helicopter!
What are the two friends expecting from their stay? They hope to fully enjoy the activities and the holiday time. Maud’s mum has already received a phone call from her daughter, who arrived on the campus for the opening ceremony: “She intends to keep her eyes wide open until the very end” are her words. The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation is very glad to support this week off that helps young people, who don’t find it so easy to go on summer holidays, to discover the world.
Let’s simply wish the two adventurers a very nice holiday!