NEW BERN, N.C., July 26, 2017
252.636.6007 ext 1333
To the staff and counselors at Easterseals UCP EMPOWER Summer Camp, summer is not about being lazy and hanging out with electronics. Instead, this is their opportunity to help a child socially by encouraging new friendships through exciting field trips, adventures and experiences. Here are a few of our heartwarming stories about campers.ARGG to Ayden!13-year-old Ayden, who has been diagnosed with autism, hasn’t spent much time around peers. This summer, he attended Camp Seaside in Nags Head, Dare County for the first time. At first, he was reluctant to go to camp. After some time and new adventures, Ayden enjoyed himself including Pirate Day with his fellow pirate mates. Ayden truly flourished in this environment as he made new friends. Brave BraheenBraheen, 9, with Cerebral Palsy, never visited a pool or beach. That is, until he came to Camp River City in Elizabeth City. After earning his trust, staff used a variety of floatation devices to help Braheen adapt to the pool. During camp, he visited the local pool enjoying the water slides and the freedom the pool offered. A huge highlight for Braheen was his first, ever, trip to the beach! He enjoyed getting close to the ocean in a beach wheelchair. Surfs Up for HermanHerman, 16, diagnosed with Intellectual Disabled Mild, hasn’t been able to get out into the community much. Thanks to an encouraging foster parent, Herman attended Camp Adventure in New Bern. This young man had never seen the ocean. Upon arrival, he said, “Wow, the Pacific Ocean is huge!” Staff loved his excitement and explained it was the Atlantic. Herman enjoyed the sand, ocean, and beach experience. He said, “This was the best day ever.” Jay BlossomsJay, 7, diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, was extremely shy barely speaking to anyone when he arrived at Camp Wonder in Greenville. In time, Jay came out of his shell, showing his love for sports, dancing and activity. Staff enjoyed watching Jay blossom this summer into an upbeat child with a contagious smile. Lizzie Makes Friends14-year-old Lizzie, with Cerebral Palsy, tends to be very quiet and shy due to her disability. She came to Camp Safari in Washington in hopes of making friends. It was a slow start getting the kids to become more social. Through activities, staff was excited to see Lizzie make friends. They’ve encouraged the kids to exchange cell phone numbers to continue friendships post-camp. These could be lifetime memories and friendships!
EMPOWER Programs including summer camp and after school activities are sponsored by Trillium Health Resources. The goal of the partnership between Trillium Health Resources and Easterseals UCP is to address the long-standing gap in social and recreational programming for individuals with intellectual and developmental delays. This initiative began in 2016 and has served dozens of children ages 5 to 22 years old throughout North Carolina.
Learn more about Easterseals UCP at www.eastersealsucp.com
ABOUT EASTERSEALS UCP
Easterseals UCP is a non-profit organization serving the special needs communities in North Carolina and Virginia. Our mission is to create opportunities, promote individual choice, and change the lives of children and adults with disabilities by maximizing their individual potential to live, learn, work and play in their communities.