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The Easiest “Yes”

By: Sarah Mumford, VIA Health Partners Music Therapist


Music Therapist Sarah Mumford receiving a hug from a Chameleon's Journey Camper

I’ve said “yes” to a lot of things in my life. In fact, most times I say “yes” more than I really should. But there have been a handful of times when I’ve looked back on my “yes” and genuinely thought, “That was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made.” Among these easy decisions includes my decision to pursue music therapy and later my decision to land in hospice work. The newest addition to that small list is my “yes” to join the staff at Chameleon’s Journey. 

 

I remember sitting in conversation with Chameleon’s Journey Camp Director, Walt Windley, as he shared about camp for the first time with me. I was struck, not just by the words he said, but by the way he spoke of the sacred space camp holds for each camper and by the genuine excitement that radiated from him as he went into detail about the activities, community, and beauty of camp as a whole. My decision to join the staff team as the camp Music Therapist could not have been an easier “yes.”

 

I believe that music has a way of expressing the things we can’t put into words. It melts into the crevices of our souls like a balm, bringing with it the things we need most: healing, love, permission to feel what we feel. In a place of grief, I’ve witnessed and experienced for myself the power of music to be a conduit for expression, a validator of emotion, and a tool for processing. 

 

I watched music touch each camper at Chameleon’s Journey in its own unique way, the way music always does. It met each of them where they were and with what they needed at that moment. In our sessions we laughed, we made noise, we sang, we wrote songs, we supported each other. I left camp wondering how it was possible to feel so exhausted and so filled all at the same time.

 

So when I reflect on what made this “yes” such an easy one, I remember all of the little things. I remember the hug from one of our youngest campers, the smile and pride from one of our oldest campers after she contributed to a song shared at the closing ceremony, and the choir of voices as a group of 11-12 year old girls sang in unison with me to a song about memories. These are the things that will be stored in my heart for a long time to come; these are the things that make Chameleon’s Journey the sacred, beautiful place that it is.



 

 To learn more about Chameleon’s Journey Camp or VIA Health Partners, visit www.chameleonsjourney.org or www.viahp.org.


To learn more about Volunteering with VIA Health Partners, visit us at:


 

About VIA Health Partners


VIA Health Partners began as Hospice at Charlotte, the state’s first hospice, in 1978 and then operated under the name Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region (HPCCR) for decades before its name change to VIA Health Partners in 2023. Today VIA Health Partners serves 3,500 patients each day for hospice and palliative care services. Our service area encompasses 14 counties in North Carolina--Burke, Catawba, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Polk, Rutherford, Stanly, and Union. Its service area in South Carolina includes Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Saluda, Spartanburg, Union, and York counties.

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