The Cute Fashion at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp


Last weekend my darling daughter Esmé, aka The Cute, was invited to attend a family weekend for kids with rare diseases at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford Connecticut. If you have never heard of this place, it is something you absolutely need to know about. The camp was founded in 1988 by actor Paul Newman–also of salad dressing, lemonade, and salsa fame–in order to provide a safe, fun, challenging, and unbelievably magical camp experience for children with cancer. Over the years HITWGC has expanded to offer camping experiences to children with all wide variety of medical and developmental challenges.

I wasn’t certain what it would be like bringing Esmé to camp. I wasn’t sure what activities she’d be able to participate in, since she is so small, severely physically delayed, and not super social with other children. So to combat our (my) anxiety, Ez and I decided that we would focus on planning her delightful outfits for the weekend, so that no matter the activity, she would be able to be summer camp chic. So, as in Esmé’s Spring Style Guide, I let Esmé guide me on how she wanted to roll (get it?) for camp.

Day 1: Travel in style

The Cute Fashion at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp


For our drive to camp Esmé selected a camper ‘kerchief and a plain t-shirt and flowered shorts (not pictured). She wanted to be certain I didn’t embarrass her as we arrived at camp…so she selected a bright scarf for my hair, distressed jeans, and a sleeveless chambray button shirt. We both wore buns. Hers was messy mine was (sort of) neat.

As we selfied our looks before the 2 1/2 hour drive Ez confirmed that we were “on point.”

Day 2: Black and white are never wrong

The Cute Fashion at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp


For our first full day at camp–which was overcast–Ezzy selected an old standard: a mostly black and white outfit. She loves the black and white look especially much for days that she spends a lot of time in her chair…because that combination of black and white and red is so much fun! She had a bit of fun with the pops of green and pink on her shirt and and socks!

As you can see, however, being this fashionable can be a wee bit exhausting.

Day 3: Use what you’ve got

The Cute Fashion at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp


On our third day we took a long walk along an accessible trail to the the camp teepee with Ezzy’s Aunt Monica and Uncle Ray–who were the whole reason we brought Ezzy to HITWGC! We found some big beautiful feathers on the ground there, so we decorated Ezzy’s headrest with them. It seemed like such a fun way to help Ez engage with the outdoors experience.

She was quite proud that a bird had left the feathers there for her…and that they coordinated beautifully with her sky blue shirt and shorts and outdoors-y yellow deer ‘kercheif.

Day 4: Speaking of ‘kerchiefs…

The Cute Fashion at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp


On her last day Ezzy sported a chambray shirt with some pretty embroidery on the seams, an arrow-themed ‘kerchief, and a pair of self-distressed acid wash jeans. She is pictured here explaining  her closing thoughts on camp to her camp Pals Maria and Phoebe. Mainly this consisted of her saying that ‘kerchiefs are absolutely essential to camp style–because they are super cool.

But also because drool happens…and she’s not going to let it get in her way!

Day 5: Back Home 

The Cute Fashion at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp

We are now back home from camp…and despite or silly focus on Esmé’s wardrobe choices, we know, of course, that none of the best things that happen at camp have anything to do with what you are wearing. They have to do with what you do at camp. What new things you try. Who you meet. How you grow. Esmé wasn’t able to do a lot of the activities at camp this year…but she was able to do so much more than I’d expected. She clapped to the sing-a-longs. She laughed at the silliness. She smiled at new friends. She explored her independence. And she got up on a stage in front of a room full of people and banged on a drum along with her favorite song: Life’s A Happy Song, from the Muppets’ Movie Soundtrack. Everyone clapped for her. She wasn’t sure what she thought about the noise–it was one part thrilling and one part terrifying–but she was sure of one thing: She belonged there at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.
All of the ‘kerchiefs in these photos are from ChoChoice