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A Camp Where Disabilities Do Not Equal Limitations
This year, Warm Beach Camp kicked off the summer with Special Friends Camp which is specifically designed for adults with developmental disabilities. Campers enjoyed WBC’s fun activities which include: singing songs, swimming, train rides, horseback riding, the ropes course, and the climbing tower. Activtities are designed to accommodate every individual, regardless of their physical limitations. A recreational staff member, David Lawless said, “One camper didn’t have the mobility or the strength that it takes to climb the ropes course. So the staff just pulled him up with a rope while he made climbing motions with his hands; I have never seen a smile so big.”
Although Special Friends Camp is in its fifth year, this will be the first year that WBC has partnered with Camp Barnabas of Missouri in order to host an overnight camp. WBC Youth Program Director Laurie Fertello expects this to be the first of many years in which an overnight camp will be offered to those with disabilities.
Amid the joys and fun memories that typically come with camp, there was also something else which seemed to permeate the loving atmosphere at WBC. Special Friends Camp was conducted with a sense of purpose which could be noted by both counselor and camper alike. In the closing week of the overnight camp, both camper and counselor gathered around a handmade 5 by 3 foot wooden cross. Those who surrounded the cross had a brief ceremony in remembrance of Christ who died for them.
WBC’s Special Friends Camp seeks to bring dignity and hope to the lives of those who are often overlooked. An unexplainable kind of joy is present in this camp and it deepens each year as new people discover Special Friends Camp.