Handicapable Camp provides outdoor recreation and overnight camping in scenic Southern Indiana for approximately 100 people with physical, mental, and emotional challenges each year. It gives many of these people an opportunity to enjoy camping for the first time. Handicapable Camp helps fill a void. These campers get a chance to enjoy outdoor activities they’ve never been able to try. Most important, these campers see themselves become a part of these activities, thus boosting their morale and confidence. Even severely challenged campers, confined to wheelchairs, are able to participate and enjoy nature’s best.
A Tremendous Success for All Involved
The project has been a tremendous success because it helps make a lot of people very happy. Everyone involved is able to see that extraordinary achievement is possible with an optimistic, positive attitude. Even the campers teach the counselors a thing or two about persistence and determination. Everyone can share in the rewards of accomplishment.
With Great Benefits to the Community
Handicapable Camp fosters cooperation between various service organizations in performing a major group project. It provides a format for community members to work together with a special group of people. Staff members become attached to the campers with whom they work. They develop a richer understanding of the special problems these people face.
Then and Now
The concept of Handicapable Camp was developed in 1973 and became a reality in 1974 with the first camp outing, a one-half day, on a Sunday afternoon. This first outing involved seven boys and girls with disabilities and three staff members. Over the past several years, the need and number of campers has grown. The camp now has served more than 3000 campers with challenges while still utilizing a volunteer staff. This often includes many entire families. We also involve non-disabled youth as staff aides. These young people are part of various youth groups in Indiana. The program now runs three days. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Major Activities at Camp
Registration begins on Friday afternoon. Parents and guardians bring their campers to the camp. A few parents even stay to help as counselors. Following supper, there is theme dance. Bedtime, a somewhat major undertaking, is about 9:30pm. Saturday morning brings the campers out at about 7:00am. After breakfast, there is boating, fishing, wall climbing and many other activities in which to participate. Small groups of campers spend the day together, taking part in all the activities. Lunch is enjoyed outdoors among the activities. After dinner, entertainment is presented including group skits, group singing, and awards. The campfire is held in an outdoor amphitheater. After breakfast on Sunday morning, a worship service is presented. A local pastor gives a brief spiritual message of hope, confidence, and faith in God. Following the service, everyone cleans their campsite. Soon parents and guardians begin arriving to take their weary, happy and only slightly sunburned campers back home.
Publicity and Promotions
At this time our publicity and promotions consist of articles and photographs in newspapers, radio & TV. Upon request we will come to civic groups, service clubs, and other charitable groups to present our program. Presentations are given by our Board members.