“Now we need you to step on the ledge,” says one of the men stationed on top of the CIBC building. My heart flips inside my chest.
With sweaty palms and shaky legs, I hoist myself onto the ledge. I’m strapped into not one, but two heavy-duty ropes that I’m assured can hold my weight and then some.
I take a deep breath, sit back off the 13th storey and my heart does a few more flips. Why, you may ask, am I rappelling down a skyscraper with no climbing experience?
Hanging over the edge of a 13-storey building is an adrenaline rush but it also helps send children and young adults with physical or cognitive disabilities to Easter Seal’s Camp Shawnigan.
All of the advice I had received up until the moment I was dangling above a number of spectators went in one ear and out the other. A number of the past participants told me to take my time and enjoy the scenery on the way down.
While I did take my time, coming down in a cool six minutes and 30 seconds, I do wish I had taken in a bit more of the view.
As I said on the 13th floor, all the way down to at least the fourth floor — “I’m not ready to look down yet.”
A few weeks ago I was able to take a trip to Camp Shawnigan to see what the money raised would go towards and hear from some of the campers who spend a week of their summer there every year.
For Rishabh Gunvante, a councillor at Camp Shawnigan who grew up in India and Singapore and never went to camp as a kid, it was a life-changing experience.
“Camp is a magical place,” he says in a matter of fact voice. “If a kid loves talking about dinosaurs … we’ll go out of our way to make those dreams come alive. We’ll make dinosaur costumes and we’ll run around acting like dinosaurs … that’s the magic of camp.”
To learn more about Easter Seals Drop Zone visit eastersealsbcy.ca.
Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.