Pictured: Mario Chitwood standing in front of the California ScienCenter — Photo Courtesy of: Mario Chitwood
Pictured: Mario Chitwood standing in front of a US Air Force Plane at the California ScienCenter — Photo Courtesy of: Mario Chitwood
Pictured: Mario Chitwood seated with the text “Guide Dogs for the Blind” — Photo Courtesy of: Mario Chitwood
I am having the most eventful summer break I’ve ever had in my life. It kicked off in mid-June when I went to the California School for the Blind (CSB) to attend a Technology and Sports Camp. While at CSB I did many things such as: played goal ball, indoor rock climbing, swimming, roller skating, learned about taking videos then editing them, and last but not least took two off campus trips. The first was to a local movie theater where we got to watch/listen to a movie with audio description. The movie was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and it was awesome and action packed. The second off campus trip was to Santa Cruz Beach Board Walk. I went on several different roller coasters and bought myself some fluffy, delicious, mouthwatering cotton candy. Upon my return from Tech & Sports camp I was home for only five days when it was time to pack up and leave but this time for Carlsbad, California.
My family and I were headed to Legoland to celebrate my 13th birthday. When we arrived at Legoland, I immediately wanted to start riding the roller coasters. My favorite ride there was called Technic. I made my mom go on it with me over and over again. Besides going on the rides, I also did a lot of shopping. I bought a lego man cake mold that I plan on using very soon. I also went to the Brick Hut Shop where they sold Lego pieces by the pound. I filled up a bag of different lego pieces so that I could build houses, cars and maybe a space shuttle. It was really cool to pick my own lego pieces. After two days visiting Legoland we went to Los Angeles to finally visit the California ScienCenter! My tour guide, Albert was really knowledgeable and provided hands on experiences. I learned a lot about different ecosystems. The most memorable part was when I got to touch a starfish, sea urchin, and sea cucumber. I enjoyed visiting the California ScienCenter because it was nice to have a personal tour guide taking time to explain all that the science center has to offer not to mention it’s hands on! I hope to visit it again when I’m back in the LA area.
My fun summer didn’t stop there! We came home for a few days then headed off on a road trip to Idaho to visit family. We celebrated Fourth of July there and it was epic. My parents bought a lot of fireworks so I was really excited. My favorites were the Roman Candles. Unlike other fireworks you light the Roman Candle and hold on to the stick and point it high up into the air. The thing that makes them so cool is that they shoot off little balls of fire into the air. Next year, I plan on buying lots more Roman Candles.
After getting back from Idaho, I was home for a week before it was time to leave for Enchanted Hills Camp (EHC). EHC is a camp for the visually impaired where there are so many activities to try like swimming, archery, hiking, boating, and different craft projects. They do way more, but I just listed the basics. I like going to camp there because there is a day called Theme Day and this year the theme was Olympics. They put people in teams and this year I was placed in team South Korea. The first contest was an arts and craft contest. We had to make the largest tower made out of sticks and my friend and I stumbled upon a nine foot branch. That branch is the reason my team won that contest. Contest after contest flashed by until it was the last event. It was a scavenger hunt. After what seemed like hours they announced the winners of the scavenger hunt and my team lost. We thought they were talking about the whole contest but in the end it turned out my team won the whole Olympic games. My team was screaming like crazy and sharing hugs and high fives. I was sad when it was time to go home but was already looking forward to next year.
After EHC camp I came home for one day then headed off to my last camp of the summer. It was at Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB). This was my first time attending this camp and it was really awesome. I learned so much about what it will be like once I get a guide dog. Besides working and learning about guide dogs we did other activities like taking a walk to Muir woods and visiting the GDB gift shop. My favorite time was the over night experience with our own guide dog. I was assigned a golden retriever that got to spend the night in my room. I didn’t want to have to give her back the next day but I did. I can’t wait until the day I get my very own guide dog.
So as you have read, I am having a busy summer. Staying supper busy makes summer vacation go by way too fast but I have done a lot of awesome things and have met some really cool kids at the camps I’ve gone to so that’s the plus side. I can’t believe summer vacation is almost over and that I will be starting middle school soon. I think for the rest of the summer I will take it easy and sleep in. I deserve it.