Marshfield News Herald Feature

Posted on Tue Apr 07 2015


The summer camp experience is a long-time tradition among area families. But that often changes when a child has a disability.

Profound physical disabilities prevent Matthew Freese, 11, of Marshfield from interacting in the world most people take for granted. He was born with cerebral palsy which confines him to a wheelchair and impairs his ability to speak. A laptop style computer called DynaVox is his voice.

Going to a summer camp, let alone roasting marshmallows at a campfire, had been something beyond his reach until last summer when Freese attended Chatter Matters! The camp, Chatter Matters! gives children like Freese and their families the opportunity to enjoy the summer tradition. It is organized and paid for by Variety - The Children's Charity of Wisconsin.

Sharing the summer camp experience alongside children with similar disabilities was fun and Freese is easger to repeat the experience, he said using his DynaVox to communicate.

"This camp is such a bright spot for us," said Lois Swanson, Freese's mother. Swanson and her husband, Norlyn Freese, adopted Matthew shortly after he was born.


To learn more

While the 2015 session is full, please check the website to plan for 2016

What: Chatter Matters!

Telephone: 262-777-2090


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