Owen at Spiral Garden – video and photos

Spiral Garden camp at Holland Bloorview, 2009. An unbelievably beautiful place.  Caption from the video on Youtube:

I just uncovered this video yesterday.  Owen attended the Spiral Garden summer camp at Holland Bloorview.  This video was shot in 2009 by Marjorie, one of his caregivers (who also worked at the camp). Sallyanne is holding Owen and Bethany is off to the side. (She accompanied them for the day to get a feel for the camp environment.)  The young woman facilitating the pottery is a camp staff member.

He was in a great mood – I can see the gleam in his eyes and the tell-tale drool, indicating deep focus and attention. Remarkable that he could leave his arm extended as long as he did.

I have that mangled ashtray on my credenza.

Some photos from previous years, when Angus attended as well.  Click an image to enlarge.




  1. Jen, this is great, I remember that day like it was yesterday. Sallyanne said “what can I do that people will let me do (she was very pregnant)would wonder around and do other things. Part of doing other things was making sure every child got on that clay wheel and was doing something at camp that would be theirs (they touched it, glued it, hammered it, spun it or pressed the button) to take home. Jenny, the potter, is always encouraged by it. Between her and I, we would randomly add kids to the list to get a try at the wheel bumping other kids who could easily entertain themselves elsewhere. There was about 15 kids with some kind of physical need each session and I made sure they all got a turn on the clay wheel. Only one in ten didn’t enjoy it. And don’t worry, the little girl I was supposed to be watching doesn’t beat people up when she is not being watched, she was fine! Plus, everyone has their eyes on her.

    Unfortunately it wasn’t something I could always convince others of doing when I left, but hopefully there are many more moments that leave parents with mangled ashtrays everywhere.

  2. So glad you saw this Marjorie! What a sweet gift to stumble on the video…

    I loved Spiral Garden – not just for the awesome activities but the real care and intention behind every interaction. So glad we were a part of it with you.

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