By Mark Cutshall
Crystal is almost deaf. Yet, she changed volunteer Kiya Tafoya forever at Special Friends Camp, a day camp uniquely designed for adults, age 15 and up, with developmental, emotional and physical needs.
“One day during worship, we were dancing in the back of the room. She couldn’t hear the music, but it didn’t matter. We were so in the moment where God was present,” says Kiya.
Campers attend a daily chapel in the morning, followed by generous free time in which they choose from a list of safe, fun, supervised activities. The “challenge by choice,” approach gives each person endless opportunities to choose their own level of activity without any undue expectation, pressure and stress.
One-on-one assistants (Camp Counselors) are provided for each camper.This “Buddy” assists the camper as needed and helps them enjoy all that camp has to offer.
“These men and women campers I came to love confront limits every day. When they come to Warm Beach Camp, those limits are laid aside. At Special Friends Camp, there is no limit to what they can do, and there’s no limit for them to experience love, affi rmation and acceptance,” says Kiya.
Three not-so-little things, that Kiya herself discovered—and no doubt will realize again this summer—at Special Friends Camp.