ADVENTURE FOR ALL
The memories made at summer camp last a lifetime: from new friends, songs and camp traditions to learning sports skills and character values. The Family YMCA has been the premiere provider of summer and holiday camps since the 1940s and continues to host several thousand children each year at camps in eight CSRA communities. Our beautiful Camp Lakeside, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Thurmond in Lincoln County, has been chosen to become a camp where all children, regardless of ability or health status, can enjoy the adventure, fun and friendships of summer camp.
The Family YMCA of Greater Augusta and Children’s Hospital of Georgia at GRU, two organizations with a strong legacy of caring for kids and families in our community, are collaborating in a dynamic partnership to ensure that children of all abilities have access to life-changing outdoor recreation and therapeutic programs. The renovated camp will be transformed from its limited, rustic condition to serve children with disabilities or serious and chronic health conditions in a medically safe environment, along with able-bodied children from around the region.
Once the renovation is complete, Camp Lakeside will serve more children than ever with an array of enriching outdoor recreation programs: swimming, hiking, fishing, archery, basketball, canoeing, kayaking, arts and crafts, disc golf, and more. The camp will be an extension of the Family Y’s adapted program, further solidifying the Y’s role as a nationwide model in providing programs and facilities that are accessible to people with disabilities or chronic health conditions. The “new” Camp Lakeside will become the future home for CHOG special-needs camps and other camps for children with physical or developmental disabilities. The Family YMCA and GRU are dedicated to raising the funds needed to begin construction of Phase 1 in Spring of 2015. Phase 1 will include a multi-purpose room/gym, the medical facility, an outdoor pool and 10 adapted cabins.
Once Phase 1 is completed, in addition to the traditional camp programming of the Family YMCA, the special-needs camps that will be offered include:
CAMP RAINBOW +
A CHOG six-day, overnight camp where children with cancer and their siblings spend six relaxing, fun-filled days with others in similar situations. The kids just get to be kids, while their parents and other family members get to rest knowing their children’s needs are being met by the camp staff. For more information about Camp Rainbow, go to www.grhealth.org
CAMP JOINT VENTURE +
A CHOG four-day, overnight camp for children ages 6-18 who have been diagnosed with rheumatic disease and their families. For more information about Camp Joint Venture, go to www.grhealth.org
CAMP STRONG HEART +
A CHOG two-day, overnight camp for children ages 4-17 who have been diagnosed with a cardiac-related condition. Campers enjoy a weekend of fun and adventure while learning that they are not alone in their fight against heart disease. For more information about Camp Strong Heart, go to www.grhealth.org
CAMP SWEET LIFE +
A CHOG overnight camp for children ages 7-16 who have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes along with their families. For more information about Camp Sweet Life, go to www.grhealth.org
CAMP CARE AND SHARE +
A CHOG weekend camp for children who have been newly diagnosed with cancer, along with their family members. Staff are available to educate the entire family about cancer and to answer questions in a safe, non-medical environment. For more information about Camp Care and Share, go to www.grhealth.org
CAMP I.V.E.Y. (Inspiring Very Exceptional Youth) +
A Family YMCA camp for children ages 8-12* with developmental delays. Camp IVEY will promote communication, develop self-care skills and coordination, and create life-long memories through outdoor education and recreational fun in a safe, supportive environment at beautiful Camp Lakeside. Camp IVEY will operate as a day camp this year, with one night of camp being an overnight camp experience. *Attendance at camp will be open to ages 6-18 in the future. Camp attendance will be based on a therapist’s or physician’s evaluation.