…Another Hooray of Hope

…Another Hooray of Hope


And here we are again, making history at ESP. It has been quite the summer. The beginning started with a groundbreaking in Watkinsville and as the summer ends, we unveil our new residential camp name.

Remember all those birthday parties that you anticipated as a kid… or planning as a parent? Or those Christmases where you knew you would be receiving gifts surrounded by family and friends. Or what about those of us who spent months anticipating one special day, our wedding? It’s those events that we anticipate, plan and strive for and then BOOM… they happen and are over in a flash with beautiful memories and photographic evidence. These two BIG historic ESP events were very similar… months and years in the making. Our special ground-breaking for the ESP building was a dream come true and the camp property in Jackson was a reality we never thought was possible.

This past Saturday we did what ESP does best… provided crazy opportunities that are fun & bonding, while including our individuals right in the middle of it and somehow raising money. We hosted our first ever Tug of Love. Over 23 teams joined us to show their love to the campers of ESP. After all the mud had been thrown and the champions pulled their last tug… ESP settled down for lunch as the captive audience waited in anticipation for the camp’s new name.

What’s the big deal about a name, you say?

It’s the thing we think most about when anticipating the identity of the child in our bellies. It’s the thing we adopt when marrying a loved one. It signifies us, makes us both unique yet also provides us with commonality.

Our camp name did not come lightly. It started shortly after acquiring the property last December. It was researching, it was a lot of talking…. but more than anything, it was asking. Asking our staff and the generous family who gifted us with the property, and most importantly asking the individuals we serve and their families.

It’s amazing how unanimous the decision became as we glided through each group. It was the name that gave everyone an instant feeling…. a little smile of the heart. The name that both generalizes the work ESP does yet screams the mission. It’s the name that gives us glimpses of our foundation yet forces us to focus on the future… it’s another Hooray of Hope.

Camp Hooray logo

Please come take a look at our new camp, Camp Hooray. While it boasts 70 beautiful acres, 2 ponds and few small structures. One day it will be the accessible home to the many who thrive at ESP through overnight camp and weekend programs. Come see it for yourself and join us on this journey. As one camper, Colin, so confidently stated….. “It’s official, Camp Hooray is alive!”

Jackson rendering

About The Author

Laura Whitaker

Laura Whitaker, M. Ed., began her relationship with Extra Special People, Inc. by working as a counselor and, subsequently, a leadership team member in 2003. With her passion for enhancing the lives of children with developmental disabilities and her specialized education in this field, Laura was selected as the director after the founder, Martha Wyllie’s sudden passing in 2004. She has found her dream job with ESP (or her dream job found her!). As Executive Director, Laura uses her leadership and management strengths to manage staff, oversee multiple year-round programs and raise funds to run programs. Her favorite part of the job is getting to hug the many children who walk through the ESP doors.

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