We Couldn’t Have Friends Over or Go on Vacation

Tripp and family

But now, thanks to you, he’s a joy to be around!

“Tripp was always a difficult child,” his father Bonner explains. “And as he got older, he became more challenging. It started as bad behavior at home, but then started spilling over to school. Almost every day became a battle.”

“He was outright defiant,” his mother Kristen added. “He would yell and scream at us and throw things. Anytime he was told ‘no’, there was going to be a blow-up.”

“He was taking control of the house,” she continued. “We couldn’t go on vacations or have friends over. We never knew what was going to be happening at our house. Our social life was very limited. We couldn’t plan anything because at any moment, he could have a meltdown.”

“When we started getting weekly calls from school about how he was disrupting classes and disrespecting teachers, we knew it was time to do something,” Bonner said. “A friend of the family had sent her grandson to camp, and he was doing very well. She encouraged us to give Fair Play a call.”

A Gift from Camp

“When he came home for his first home visit, he was very quiet and subdued at first.” Bonner said. “It wasn’t until Saturday evening that we had our first flare up.”

“We got a glimpse of what he could be,” Kristen remembers. “That was a huge gift that Camp gave us, even if it was just for a day. The next visit he behaved for two days, and it kept stretching out longer during each visit. It finally got to the point where he could go the whole four days without acting out. There would be an argument here or there, but we continued to see improvement.”

Today, Teachers Enjoy Having Tripp

“We’re not getting calls from school about Tripp’s behavior anymore,” Kristen said. “Whenever we see his teachers, they say how much they enjoy having Tripp in their classes. And now that he has a good reputation at school, he wants to keep it that way. He was never concerned about that before.”

“Camp instilled structure in Tripp,” Bonner explains. “Without structure, he struggles. With school back in session, he is involved in JV football, which is big for him. He has study hall between practice and classes. He is staying busy and organized. In the evening, he gets everything he is going to need laid out for the next day.”

“His room is spotless, probably cleaner than ours,” Kristen added. “On the weekend, he washes his own clothes and sets everything out for the following week. Camp really helped him to be organized and prepared.”

I Don’t Know Where We Would Be Without Camp

We still have things to work through,” Bonner said. “But I don’t know where we would be without camp! It was not livable before he went. Camp gave us hope that if we stuck with Tripp and stayed committed to the process, he would become that kid that we knew he was capable of being.”

“Thank you for making it possible for Tripp to go to Fair Play,” Kristen said. “It’s powerful for a boy to realize that he is loved by more than just his family – but also by chiefs, staff, and supporters like you.”