It i s about time for camp it is a great camp for adults with brain injury we have a great time all kinds of activity fishing swimming arts and crafts first day we check in set up our bunk get some lunch then we all start gathering firewood then we sit around a campfire talk about what we have been doing for the last year while making s’mores another fun night is casino night ginny gives us some play cash then we play cards bingo blackjack poker then at the end night whatever cash you have won we have a auction for all kinds of cool prizes
Fishing is my favorite activity cuz every year I always catch the most my biggest one was a five pound bass that was a nice lunch in the morning there’s about five of us that get up early and go to one of the cabins that has a coffee pot and we sit around and drink about two pots of coffee before breakfast i have a lot of good friends at camp that i can’t wait to see again i will be going to camp in about 27 days the camp is in Hudson IL about 30 miles south of Bloomington it is a large campground run by the easter seals good time had by all there are about 50 in our camp everyone in our camp has a traumatic brain injury.
By Synapse House Member, Bob
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance in the United States of America for those men and woman who died in military service defending the USA. It is observed on the last Monday in May of every year. And, traditionally, it is seen as the beginning of the summer season.
People observe the day by attending a Memorial Day parade, and they also have picnics where beer, brats, hamburgers, pizza, pretzels, potato chips and ice cream are served.
Many celebrations feature live bands playing old favorites from groups like The Rolling Stones, The Who, Cheap Trick, The Doobie Brothers, REO Speedwagon, The Beatles and Yes.
Some parties get out-off-hand due to the merriment and alcohol. In these venues, men take their shirts off, and party like it’s 1999. Yeh!!!! They have fun, and it’s relaxing. It’s not something they do often but when they do party, they do it with style and enthusiasm.
One year - 1995 -- the festivities got out of hand; the beer was flowing and the younger men were punching back shots of whiskey. All was well until two of the gentlemen passed out, crashing to the dance floor in a loud “thud”. There they slept for three hours, waking with a headache and wrinkled clothes. But, they had fun and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a party like no other. They could not wait until next year’s festivities.
By Chris Z. Synapse House
Having loaded the car the night before, we climbed into the vehicle and pulled out of garage. It was short drive to highway. We entered the highway and started to head up to the cottage, It did not take long until I saw a dark cloud in the sky up ahead. Suddenly, the cloud made a deep drop in altitude. I was wrong about that cloud. It was not a cloud at all. It was a huge flock of birds flying their way down south. As we got closer, I was able to identify them. It was just a massive flock of starling headed down south for the winter. They were coursing their way to their wintering grounds. As we continued on I noticed some Sandhill Cranes feeding in a cut milo field, There was no excitement as they bowed their long necks and were picking up the loose feed on the ground that was missed by the thrasher.They were oblivious to all the activity around them.
As we on our course up to the cottage. We had no idea, that this was just one the many encounters that we would see. A little further down the road, I ventured a look to my left and saw a huge deer. He was a big buck that sported a fine set of antlers.He turned out to be one of the many more we would spot on this trip. We continued on down the highway and looked to my right, there was a small flock of turkeys strutting their way through the countryside. It was good to see that many birds, proving that that snow we had last winter did not hurt the spring’s brooding stock. Moving on down the road we were continuing seeing flocks of geese feeding in the fields.One could only hope, that of those birds would find their way to be in front of me during the upcoming hunting season.
As we got closer to our cabin, I even spotted a flock ducks making their way through the sky. They were too far off to tell what kind of ducks they were, but close enough to make me happy.
My work with DU was showing signs of success.
After six hours of driving, we arrived at our destination.
Fictional Story by Synapse House Member, Tom W.
Adelles restaurant in Wheaton, Illinois is a first-class restaurant that my family and I frequent on a regular basis. I enjoy the fish dishes such as Salmon, Shark and Trout. The steaks are excellent too. Yummy!
Adelles has an excellent wine collection, both red and white. The vino is superb and management does a wonderful job pairing wines with meals. For instance, a steak dinner is matched with a Cab or Pinot Noir. Superb! While a salmon or lobster meal is matched with a chilled Chardonnay. Yummy!
The desserts are excellent too. My favorite is the apple pie ala mode. It is sweet and cool. This is paired with a cup of decaf coffee.
The restaurant is in our local town so we frequently bump into people we know, which is positive and uplifting. Sometimes we attend Adelles with friends which makes the dinner experience all the more uplifting and enjoyable.
By Synapse House Member, Chris Z.
The “Bake to Work” Program consists of three parts which are the Work Readiness Program, “Bake to Work” Internship Program, and the “Bake to Work” Supported Employment. The Work Readiness program focuses on preparing participating members for non-supported competitive employment or supported employment through a series of 20 basic work related skill assignments necessary to be successful in return to work efforts. Individuals will also engage in the daily work of the Clubhouse to be able to practice work readiness skills and address any barriers. The Bake To Work Internship program is designed to provide internship opportunities to individuals with acquired brain injury in the food service industry who are preparing for competitive employment. Individuals who are selected for the internship that engage in any food preparation will train to obtain the Illinois Food Handlers Card which is required for any individual employed in the food service industry. Individuals will be required to have addressed or be actively addressing employment barriers and fine tuning work readiness skills through a separate vocational program or through the Synapse House Work Readiness Program or Clubhouse Program. This could include participation in the Culinary Unit for an introduction to food service sanitation and meal preparation. Internships for the program could also focus on the business aspect of the bakery business such as the marketing or customer service needs. The internship program is three months long and is competitive entry based. Internship hours and days are based on shift assignments and are typically 2-3 hours per day, 2-3 shifts per week. Individuals interested in this program are to be available for up to 15 hours per week of internship hours. Hours of operation are from Monday through Friday, 7:30am-4:00pm. Individuals will continue to address any work readiness goals for an additional one to two hours per day. The Supported Employment Program is designed to serve individuals who need basic job preparation and paid work experience in a structured setting. Participants engage in paid work opportunities through our Bakery setting 1 to 4 days per week for up to 12 months. Individuals are assigned a Work Unit Coordinator to address any deficiencies in work readiness and residual barriers. Individuals must have their Illinois Food Handlers Card.
We formed pairs that would work together as a unit to construct the needed sandwiches. We wore gloves on our non dominant hand so that we were forced to really think about how we would work together as one hand. We placed the bread on a plate and got the jars of peanut butter and jelly on the table. We then opened the jars with one hand and decided which partner would handle the various parts of the construction of the sandwich. Remember that we could only use the gloved hand to handle the bread, jars, and silverware during the construction of the sandwiches.We had to communicate with our partner, so that you could work together and compete the job. It was easy placing the peanut butter on the bread and was real laugh to try and spread it evenly across the bread. Once that was done, we then applied the jelly with a spoon and spread across the surface as evenly as we could. We then placed the two pieces of bread together and the project was completed.We then cleaned up the area and settled down to the sandwiches that we constructed.
It showed us, that we could work together as a group and complete a special job that had to be completed.
The Clubhouse would like to welcome its newest member Mary T. She is single and is seventy-eight years old. She has one child John, who is thirty-two years old. Her brain injury happened two years ago. She is new to all the changes that are happening
Written by Synapse House Member, Tom W.
A look at the 2017 DuPage Human Race! It was a great opportunity to connect with amazing people and raise money for Synapse House. It was the perfect workout for a cool sunny Saturday morning!
A Fictional Short Story By Chris Z.
The gun sounded, and hundreds of well-fit male bodies ran at full speed across the starting line as the 2017 Human Race launched. The land-race would cover 12 miles, and a good completion time would be one hour, sixteen minutes, reflecting a rate of 8 minutes per mile.
The race began with runners feeling optimistic and happy but before long they faced several significant challenges, such as a steep hill, a narrow passageway along the cliff, a rough path through a heavily wooded forest and the baking sun. Yes, the heat was suffocating and the water stations were busy keeping runners hydrated.
Jim, an avid triathlete, was in the lead. He wore an orange shirt and green shorts, plus he had an orange head-band looped around his noggin (reflecting his alma mater: Syracuse University). The sweat drenched his shirt and shorts and ran down his legs. He came over the small hill to the third water station and lunged for a cup of water. The first he threw down his throat and the second he tossed over his head to cool himself down. The water-station attendants cheered him on: “You’re doing great! Push on! Bravo!” All of which gave Jim the shot in the arm he needed, and took his mind off the pain he was feeling in his legs and rear-end, pain caused by the pounding pressure from the fast-pace trout.
Jim’s mind wondered: why was he putting himself through this agony? Didn’t he have a wonderful life apart from this agony: a wonderful family, great job and luxuries. Yes! He was comfortable, but the race was about proving his manliness and defying age-induced fatigue. Exactly! He had to prove he was still a vibrant male and able to conquer whatever life threw at him. He was determined. So, he pressed on.
He rounded a bend, but stumbled and fell. His knees were both in pain and right shoulder ached. He rolled and cried for help. A few minutes passed and then a race official came on the scene. They attended to his wounds and transported him to the the local hospital. There, the medical team diagnosed his condition as a bruised elbow, a bump-on-the-head (but, fortunately, no concussion) and a stubbed toe. He rose to his feet slowly and marched forward. He was determined to finish the race even though his pace at the finish-line would be slow. He saw the completion-point immediately ahead, and picked up his pace so he could complete the race exhibiting determination and a strong pace. The crowd gathered at the finish-line cheered him on. They shouted, “Bravo,” “Good-job” and “Stupendous.”
Story by Synapse House Member, Chris Z.
As I opened my eyes and awoke,I started to think about what I was going to do. I decided that I was going venture into the wilds. I turned on the radio and listen to the weather forecast. According to the weather man, it was going to remain cool, with a strong south wind. Knowing this, I decided to go for a long walk around the lake. To do this, there was a few things that I had to do first. I gathered all the clothes that I would need and laid them out on the bed. I then, went down to the basement and got my backpack. I stocked it with everything that I thought that I might need for this encounter into the outdoors. Once that was done, I was all set for the trek to begin.
I doned the perfect gear for my venture into the wild, and headed out the door. Right away, I was knowing that this was going to be one of those days , that I would remember for a long time. The woods was alive with all the various sounds. There were birds singing, their melodious songs which gave you a feeling that all was in a good place, and gave you the knowledge that everything was at peace in the world.I continued on down the path, when suddenly I heard a familiar sound It sounded like there was a party going on in the sky. I peered up to the sound and spotted the disturbance. There they were, a large flock of Sandhill Cranes. I could not believe how many birds were in the the flock. I tried to count them, but I had to stop when reached fifty birds and there was still a lot more. I grabbed my camera out of my backpack and managed to take a few good shots of those birds before they were too far away. I was glad that I thought of my camera when I packed my backpack.
I continued down the path, trying to keep my eyes wide open looking for any wildlife that would make an appearance.I was searching around when suddenly, my eyes ventured down and I could not believe my eyes. There, in front of me was a huge rat snake. He was at least three feet long and was in no hurry to get out of the way. I sprung into my pocket and once again I was able to take a picture..I watched him slowly slither away into the underbrush.
As I continued my walk, I heard a commotion up the hill. I froze in my tracks, as a bear came charging down the path. It was obvious, he did not see me as he came closer to me. I remembered my outdoorsman survival training, which is not to move and the bear will not see you .It must have worked, because he did not slow down as he flew by and did not break stride.and jumped into the lake and swam away. Once my heart started beating again, I carried on and wished that I had thought to take picture with my camera so I would have proof of something when I retell this story.
It is nice to have experiences like that to show that life is worth living and that you never know what is going to happen next. Here's hoping that surviving an incident like that makes you want to experience life to its fullest.
Fictional Story by Synapse House Member, Tom W.
Synapse House is at the corner of a stripmall in Elmhurst. Joanne manages the day-to-day operations. She is organized and direct, which she has to be to keep members in line. There are often about a half-dozen members everyday. We participate in group activities such as sitting around a table and talking about current events. We also type projects like this one.
Dale, a member, is here today sitting next to me at a computer. He is wearing a Cubs jersey and baseball hat. Dale is a nice, jovial fella. And, he is a Cubs fan, which I appreciate.
What happens at Clubhouse, day-to-day? We usually have a meeting to kick-off the day during which Joanne reviews the day’s agenda. We then transgress to a discussion of current events and member preferences for the day’s agenda. Members also offer feedback on how Clubhouse can be improved, such as having root beer available in the refrigerator machine and stocking the freezer with Dove (ice cream) bars. Yummy! Joanne is giving me, now, a stern look that my last few comments were not appropriate. But, my answer: this is America. Freedom of speech.
By Synapse House Member, Chris Z.