Mary Ann came to the farm one summer afternoon with her Girl Scout troop. This troop had several girls, including Mary Ann, who were developmentally disabled. Most of the girls quickly got acquainted with their llamas and began leading them around the pasture, practicing for their hike on the following day. After being shown how to brush the llamas, the girls began to groom them. Mary Ann, however, hung back and tried to hide behind the truck. She was afraid to go near the llamas, much less to touch any of them. One of the guides let Mary Ann sit down on a folding chair and just watch what was going on. After a while, he led one of the most experienced and gentle llamas named Blue over to where Mary Ann was sitting. He began talking to her about other things, not even mentioning the llama that was peeking at her over his shoulder. After 20 minutes or so, Mary Ann asked what the llama's name was. When he replied, "Blue, short for Blue Chip," she thought that was a funny name. Gradually, Mary Ann began to look at Blue and finally agreed to hold his lead. Eventually, Mary Ann stood up and walked over to where the other girls were brushing their llamas. Of course, Blue had to follow her. Mary Ann was surprised that she was leading a llama! The Girl Scouts camped in tents at the farm that night and walked on a trail up the mountain the next morning. Mary Ann agreed to lead Blue if one of the Scout leaders would walk along with her. She did well during the hike, only asking for help when they had to cross a big mud puddle. When the Scouts got packed up to return home, Mary Ann hugged Blue's neck for a long time.
Mary Ann had the opportunity to have this experience only because of the generosity of donors to Challenge Adventures.
Organizations and other agencies that serve children like him do not have funds for therapeutic adventure activities. It costs less than $100 per day per child. Our expenses are low because licensed therapists donate their time.
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