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Archive for Sunday, July 28, 2002

Camp for disabled needs volunteers

July 28, 2002

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A Christian summer camp for the disabled is looking for volunteers and money so it won't have to turn away three youngsters who want to attend.

Camp Adventure runs Aug. 3-10 at the Chihowa Retreat Center at Lake Perry.

Although 120 volunteers have signed up, the camp needs two male counselors, two female counselors, a registered nurse and a camp "mom." And at least $1,500 is needed to cover the fees for the three young campers.

"Five years ago we had a similar problem, and we had to turn away 10 campers," said Barb McGoyne, a retired occupational therapist who has directed the camp for seven years. "By the next year, one of them had passed away and so we've tried hard to not turn away anyone else."

McGoyne said the camp costs $500 a person. In the past, the campers paid $150 of the cost and volunteers raised the rest. This year, the camper's portion was increased to $300.

Camp Adventure, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, serves about 40 campers ages 7 and older with spina bifida, cerebral palsy, other muscular skeletal disorders and heart disorders.

The campers can take part in swimming, T-ball, paddle boats, a fishing derby, a beach party, a casino night and remote-controlled cars and planes. Horses for Hope, a nonprofit organization, will set up a petting zoo. McGoyne said she is looking for veterinarians to help sponsor the zoo.

The Rev. Sharon Kuhn, camp pastor, will teach daily Quest classes and speak at the campfires that wrap up each day's activities.

While the camp is mainly for youngsters, adult alumni often return.

"Once they start, they keep coming back," McGoyne said.

The same could be said about camp directors.

"I've been at the camp for 20 years," she said. "I find it personally rewarding. It's a lot of hard work and stress and begging for money, but the looks on the kids' faces when they have a good time (makes it worth it)."

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