What You Just Don’t Know: Lavender Blackston

Mckenzie Martinez , Staff Writer

As she holds hands with her fellow campers in a circle, senior Lavender Blackston cries happily and sings along to “Lean on Me.”

Once a camper and now a counselor, Blackston strives to help improve her future campers’ lives. The Paddy Rosbatch Youth camp was made to boost up people like Blackston, who is an above the knee amputee.

“I wanted to become a counselor because I don’t want to stop going to camp,” she said. “I looked up to my counselors when I was a camper, so I wanted to inspire them like they did for me.”

Blackston, who went to the camp for five years, returned as a counselor  July 8-13.

“Amputee camp exists so that children and adults know they are not alone and are not limited to being an amputee,” she said. “There is always going to be an entire community who has your back.”

While she was there, Blackston participated in camp activities and even went canoeing and hiking.

“My friend Angelica is a bilateral (missing both legs) amputee and we went on a hike,” she said. “She then mentioned that it was her first hike ever with prosthetics, since she lost her legs in a car accident when she was younger. It was a very emotional moment but will forever be my favorite memory at camp because I was so proud of her.”

Blackston said that her time at camp inspired her and changed her life for the better.

“Before camp, I never wore dresses or shorts,” she said. “But when I went, I saw other people being happy and so I was more confident. After camp, I got a new galaxy leg instead of hiding it.”