For many children, summer means going away to camp where they can explore the great outdoors and enjoy nature. For children with special needs, summer camp is only a dream. However, fifty children with neuromuscular diseases will experience that dream at Sly Park Conservation and Environmental Education Center.
Each year, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) supports summer camps across the country where children with disabilities attend at no cost to their families. The week of August 8-13, 2010, fifty special needs children will attend the Summer Camp for Jerry's Kids at Sly Park. Sly Park is a residential outdoor education program located in the Eldorado National Forest and operated by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE).
"The summer camp at Sly Park will be an amazing experience, for both the campers and the volunteers," said Chastity Madison-Richardson, MDA Health Services Coordinator in the Sacramento region. "Our goal is to empower our young campers to get them to see how capable they are of being independent."
Campers, spending time away from their parents, will be teamed with volunteer counselors who are carefully screened and selected in advance to serve as caregivers, helpers and companions. Additional camp volunteers and sponsors are needed. Those interested are asked to contact Chastity Madison-Richardson at (916) 921-9518.
Wednesday, August 11, will be VIP Day, where sponsors and family members can interact with campers and participate in camp activities.
"We are proud to partner with MDA on this summer camp. It will be a great opportunity for children facing daily challenges to be themselves, connect with other children in similar situations, and just have fun," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon.
The Sly Park Conservation and Environmental Education Center is approximately fifty miles east of Sacramento, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The environmental education center provides programs teaching 5th and 6th grade students about the world in which they live. Students actively engage in field studies, learning about the forest ecosystem and the importance of conservation to our future. Credentialed teachers provide an instructional program to over 8,000 elementary students each year.