Thursday, May 16, 2013

Special Needs Community Gathers At Camp

LABELLE, FL. -- Twenty Southwest Floridians with special needs made lifelong friends during the second session of Trailways Camp in LaBelle. Trailways camp is a partnership between Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida and The Robert V. and Benjamin G. Miller Fund.

The session, which ran from May 6 through May 9, included fishing, campfire roasts, a visit by Special Equestrians, swimming, a talent show, a luau, and more. The camp was held at the Riverside Retreat Center in LaBelle.

“Many of our campers had never flown a kite, held a fishing rod, danced on stage, or won an award in their lives,” says Jesi Cason, camp counselor and skills trainer at Goodwill. “At camp, everyone got a chance to create unforgettable experiences and make lifelong friendships with people who understand what it is like to have a disability.”

The Trailways Camp mission is to remove the social isolation often felt by people with disabilities by providing opportunities for fun, friends and support. Through outdoor activities, group exercises, crafts, and more, campers have the opportunity to develop recreational skills and build relationships.

“An act as simple as sitting down for a meal with friends, or roasting marshmallows over a campfire can, and has, changed lives for people who otherwise would not have the opportunity,” explains Cason. “The campers will always remember the feeling of accomplishment and acceptance they experienced when they lead a group of campers in song, or challenged their friends to an epic water noodle fight!”

Trailways Camp will host another session October 7 through 11, 2013. For more information regarding Trailways Camp visit or contact Todd Ryan at (239)995-2106 ext. 2285.

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