Category Archives: Every Day

Meet Jenni!

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If you saw our quarterly newsletter, SibNews July-September 2017, you met Jenni. Her older brother, Mike, has been a huge part of her life, including her career decision: special education teacher. What does she want every sibling to know? Find out Jenni’s story in this short video. Then be one of the first to subscribe [read more]

Jyll the Intern Says Goodbye

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Jyll and her brother Noah

Hi my name is Jyll Van Vooren.  I have been a WisconSib for over 5 years. Within WisconSibs I have been a counselor for SibDays of Summer and the Circles of Life Conference.

My brother is Noah Van Vooren. He is 22 years old and has Down syndrome. A couple of our favorite things to do together are taking walks, car rides with tons of singing, going to Miracle League, and watching football.  My favorite thing about Noah is his love for others and his genuine happiness that he radiates to those around him. 

In a blink of an eye the summer of being an intern for WisconSibs is wrapping up. I have learned an incredible amount in these past ten weeks. As an intern, I was able to partake in helping with fundraisers, special events, meetings, helping coordinate and run Teen Sib Leadership Day, and being an Assistant Director for the older campers at SibDays of summer. I have learned how to coordinate a fundraiser and other events with various companies to host events that benefit the WisconSib organization. Harriet has been a great role model and has taught me a great amount about nonprofit’s and how they are run. She truly is the heart of WisconSibs and it was amazing being able to learn from her.  I am extremely grateful to have been involved in WisconSibs in this unique way. It was truly a great learning experience and it was a great summer!

What’s next? – I’m returning to Concordia University of Wisconsin as a Junior, where I am focusing on Social work. I am also blessed to have a new position at school: ARD (assistant resident director) of two dorms. All of what I have learned from WisconSibs will be applied to this year of school and beyond!

Thanks to WisconSibs donors for making this internship opportunity possible. You make a big difference.


Friday: Did You See that Firework? – 4th of July

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How could we have a holiday themed week and not include 4th of July during the month of July? Well, we did include it. We wanted to end with a bang. I think we did. Along with preparations for the closing reception, fun was had. All groups created Firework Salt Art. Those projects really blew our minds. Some of the sibs tied fireworks to their lives. Their siblings with disabilities add so much color and excitement to their lives. We are glad connections like these can be made!

Before the reception, everyone had a chance to go swimming with friends one last time. Our closing reception was a smash once again and even included ice cream!   

How does the week of SibDays always go so fast? Everyone enjoyed “Every Day’s a SibDay!” Some of the favorites included swimming, Curt’s Carnival, Zoozort, and meeting new friends. We hope to see you all next year during our SibShops and SibDays!

Photos from Yesterday (Thursday!)

Zoozort came yesterday! Noelle is the creator of this fantastic organization. In this picture, she is holding the adorable wallaby, Amelia.

Meet Mimi! This is a 9-banded Armadillo. She cannot curl up into a ball, but she is a very good digger.

Cornelius the Chameleon! FYI: chameleons camouflage, not change colors and they also have individual eyes, so they can watch one side of the room while stalking something else!

Hello Igor! He is a very nice toad.

Here is a close up of Amelia the Wallaby! Amelia was my personal favorite.

A camper is showing the other campers what a hollow tortoise shell looks like! Noelle also brought an alive tortoise named Clementine:)


Thursday: Can you find them all? – Scavenger Hunt Day

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Campers and counselors learned lots about themselves today. The theme of the day was Scavenger Hunt Day. Not only were physical objects found, but personal emotions too. In their small groups, campers made Inside/Out Masks. Sometimes we all put on a face to hide what’s inside, but not today. Having a sibling with a disability can be a challenge. Most of the world does not see that side of a sibling.

 

Besides this emotional discovery, groups went on a Scavenger Hunt around Plamann Park. Some very special guests came to visit: Zoozort! Many unique animals made an appearance. We are very thankful for the Grade family in bringing Zoozort to us in memory of Alden Grade. We cooled off with water games and popsicles!

Reminders: Please bring: swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, water bottle, and lunch. Family reception is tomorrow at 2:30 pm. Come see all the things our SibDays campers have been doing this week! There will also be an ice cream social, thanks to the Thrivent Action Team!

Photos from yesterday (Wednesday!)

Sibs have fun at Curt’s Carnival, an event of SibDays and Camp Hope. Thank you to the Krull family for your generosity in memory of Curt. We are forever sibs. These sibs are capturing a moment in front of a photo booth!

Our organizer for SibDays, Michelle, just had a baby boy on Friday! She came to visit us for a little while and show off her adorable baby boy:)

Campers had a chance to play with the huge parachute today!

We had to do our famous “bug photo”. It turned out beautifully! Can you find your camper?

 




SUMMER CAMPS FOR people with disabilities and for siblings!

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The weather in Appleton Wisconsin was absolutely gorgeous this weekend…something as Wisconsinites we dream about to get us through the months of winter blasts of cold and snow.  So while I’ve been getting camps organized for the siblings who participate with WisconSibs Sib Camps since January, this weather also prompted me to finish Phillip’s (my son with disabilities) camp schedule.1620594_285969371590635_7038379701286800850_n

If you are looking for camps for your child or adult with disabilities OR their siblings, check out this website for camps in Wisconsin.  http://www.veryspecialcamps.com/Wisconsin/Special-Needs-Summer-Camps.shtml

 

10561631_286737211513851_5478398368456877118_nYou live outside Wisconsin or looking for a camp for a particular condition or disability? Go to http://www.veryspecialcamps.com/

Kids (and even adults) gain so many benefits from time away in the outdoors.  They learn new skills, breathe fresh air, discover the wonders of outdoors, and meet people they may never have met otherwise.   And parents, admit it, you could use the respite.

 


FVSSN is now WisconSibs!

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We are so excited that you are here.  Whether you are visiting us for the first time, or have followed us for years, we welcome you to our new website…and our new name!

For years we have been serving siblings, professionals and others as the Fox Valley Sibling Support Network. It was a fitting name for a new nonprofit back in 1998 who was breaking through with new ideas and wanted to create and develop high quality programs and services for siblings throughout their lifelong journey.

As those programs developed and have grown, we’ve become recognized as a unique resource throughout the state of Wisconsin and beyond with our Sibshops, Sib Camps, teen leadership opportunities and adult sibling programs.  The need for such services has grown, too, as more  people with disabilities grow older, and siblings find themselves dealing with issues of aging parents, growing children, and quality of life choices with their siblings.

So lets get acquainted. Look around our new site.  Whether you are a sibling or other family member, a professional, or a volunteer interested in the concerns of people with disabilities, we hope you find an opportunity to get involved in WisconSibs.

Until next time….

Harriet