Camp Shriver makes a splash for disabilities - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Camp Shriver makes a splash for disabilities

While most typical summer camps aren't trained to accommodate special needs children and adults, Camp Shriver thrives on empowering campers with disabilities. (Source: WECT) While most typical summer camps aren't trained to accommodate special needs children and adults, Camp Shriver thrives on empowering campers with disabilities. (Source: WECT)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

More than 50 young adults with intellectual disabilities will spend this week at Camp Shriver to improve their sports and social skills. 

"The main focus of Camp Shriver is to let children and adults with disabilities participate in regular activities, they would otherwise not be able to participate in," said Special Olympics volunteer Gerald Velie. Campers had fun playing activities like basketball, soccer, and swimming.

"During the summer time, there aren't many activities for them to do, and a lot of the mainstream individuals have the ability to go off and do different activities. Our campers here don't have that opportunity due to medical reasons or physical handicaps," Velie said.

While most typical summer camps aren't trained to accommodate special needs children and adults, Camp Shriver thrives on empowering campers with disabilities.

"There's nothing they cannot do with a little bit of assistance or help," Velie explained. "Our main goal is to let them know they don't have to sit on the side line, they're part of the team. They're not on the outside looking in."

Camp Shriver officials said the week's activities would usually cost more than $400 per person, but donations, annual fundraisers, and support from the New Hanover County School System, allow every camper to attend for free.

"All of the money that's raised in New Hanover County stays right here for our athletes and young adults," Velie said.

Although each camp session is only one week, memories the campers have will last a lifetime.

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

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