C.A.M.P. Therapy Center—A Business 20+ Years in the Making
Did you ever have an experience in life, the impact of which was not fully realized at the time, let alone 5 or 10 years later? No? Well, I have. And to be honest, it’s hard to believe I didn’t take this step a decade or more ago. How did I get here? Read on…
When I was a teenager, I had the honor and privilege of working at an Easter Seals Camp KYSOC in Carrollton, KY. Camp KYSOC was an all-inclusive, rustic camp experience for children and adults with all abilities, and the two summers I spent working there as I concluded my high school career were directly responsible for my professional career path. Once I finished high school, I entered Eastern Kentucky University in the Fall of 2000, with my sights squarely set on majoring in Occupational Therapy. That dream was realized and my degree was completed in 2004.
Fast Forward 15 Years
As I sat at my dining room table, coming to grips with the fact that my career was taking an unexpected and unprecedented turn. I wasn’t sure what to do. I felt anxious. It was difficult to breathe. And that night, I barely slept. The fortuitous part—in my wakefulness, the path became so completely clear, it felt as though Tajar himself (a mythical camp creature who roamed the woods of Camp KYSOC) had come to me while I slept and whispered the idea in my ear.
Thus, C.A.M.P. Therapy Center was born. The acronym standing for Creative And Meaningful Play, which reminded me so vividly of what it was I did at KYSOC all those years ago. We played. We were creative. It was meaningful. That is what I wanted for my business. This is what I wanted to infuse into my therapy. This was my path.
Once the idea was conceptualized, I reached out to the SBDC, where I was connected with Dan Leslie. He helped to guide me in my next steps, and best of all, his services were free. I did extensive research regarding equipment, assessments, which insurance companies to contract with, fees schedules, privacy practices, intake paperwork, commercial real estate for lead, branding, logo design, business plan…get the idea?
Being a Mompreneur
Being a single mother, I never dreamed that I would take this entrepreneurial step, despite wanting to open my own practice for quite some time. I mean, let’s face it—parenting on your own is challenging enough (Did I give him enough attention today? Did I remember to check his school folder? Did he eat a balanced meal for dinner? Did I tell him how great I think he is today?), but running a business on my own?? NO WAY! Once the ball started rolling, however, it was difficult to stop it, and I knew there was no turning back.
I have never been one to just accept the status quo, so after much consideration, it just felt RIGHT. As my own boss, I will be able to flex my schedule to provide a work-life balance like never before. I will also be able to demonstrate to my son that you can have anything if you put your mind to it and work hard enough—the juggling may not always be easy, but the fulfillment that you find when you cultivate and realize your own dreams is not easily matched elsewhere. Mothers have a keen ability to see the goal for their children, and to help them achieve it—this instance is no different, except that it was my goal, my dream being met. The challenges are far outweighed by the opportunities, but they remain. The main challenge I have experienced to date is the amount of time one spends working for themself. It’s no longer a 9-5 situation. But, even this itself is an opportunity for me to improve my time management and multitasking abilities.
As I sit here typing this blog, I am focused on my grand opening. I am so excited to have reached this point, and I am so grateful for my wonderful son, Jackson, who has stood by my side every step of the way. He has been a willing product tester, a cheerleader, a listening ear. Starting a business as a single mother was not something I ever expected to do. But, as I stand on this precipice, ready to see my dream realized, I think about the freedom and work-life balance that this will bring to our little family. And all I can do is smile…
Take care friends,