Dr. Stacy Daniels

The recent story by Kristina Slottke allowed me to reflect on my own first experience at Camp Neyati.  During the summer of 1953 I was a counselor for the Boy Scouts of America working for room & board and the majestic salary of about $5 per day (or maybe less).  Since I was only about 16 at the time I had to apply using a special application (which required approval of parents and of the Midland Schools) to prove I was a good boy.  I also had to obtain a SSA number and dutifully have $ 0.50 per week deducted.

My family already had a cottage on Crystal Lake (Benzie Co.) so I was familiar with lakes.  Curiously although I lived on a lake I didn't learn to swim until we moved to Midland in 1944 where I took lessons in the Saginaw High School pool since there were none in Midland!  My father had a long involvement with the BSA as a Scoutmaster.

Teri Bickmore

A severe case of undiagnosed Lyme Disease prompted me to give tennis a try. On April Fool's Day of 2003, just as my family was preparing to move to Midland, I was suddenly struck with symptoms resembling a stroke. Although I was having serious neurological issues and could not walk without assistance, tests in the ER failed to show anything wrong. For years, symptoms were relentless and visit after visit to a series of doctors and hospitals failed to provide a diagnosis or to offer relief. I did attend a physical therapy session to help improve my balance. Therapy consisted of looking at dot "A" on the wall and then shifting my gaze to dot "B". That was my last PT session and was the impetus for joining The Tennis Center. Tracking a tennis ball seemed like it would be a lot more fun than staring at a wall. So, with trepidation I staggered onto to the court for my fist session of Play Tennis Fast. I wasn't even sure if I'd be able stay upright. Week after week, I grew more steady on my feet, experienced joy in the midst of pain, and met the most wonderful people. Ten years after that first PTF class, I'm still on the court and am still loving it. Without a doubt, tennis saved my life and helped get me through a brutal illness.