GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. -- A camp offering summer fun to people with disabilities is celebrating its 80th year in Government Camp.
“What we’re about is taking away the limits,” explained Kaleen Deatherage, the Executive Director of Mount Hood Kiwanis Camp.
Deatherage explained that many of the campers have traumatic brain injuries. Others have Down’s Syndrome or are autistic.
“They face limits all the time but here they are normal and enjoy activities you’ll find at any summer camp,” remarked Deatherage. On the 22 acres located on Mount Hood, there’s a challenge course, horseback riding and a swimming pool.
About 60 campers enjoy a week of activity with eight summer sessions. They are responsible for half the cost which runs about $1,200. The remainder is covered through fund-raising with a goal of $1 million a year.
Volunteer counselors earning community service credit at Portland State University are each assigned a single camper for the week.
“They are good about communicating with us and letting us know what they need. We learn to do most everything for them and we form lifelong friendships,” said Jordan Goschie.
As the Camp marks its 80th year, the staff is remembering all the support that’s made it possible. “There are quite literally thousands of people who have invested in getting us where we are. It’s a perfect example of a community supporting a group who really needs it,” concluded Deatherage.
Click here for more on the September Fundraiser for Mount Hood Kiwanis Camp