Camp Hooray’s Vision Through My Eyes
By Marcella Genut
As camp is approaching, ESP is thrilled to be able to provide camp experiences at our newest location, Camp Hooray. Located in Jefferson, Georgia on beautiful 70-acres of land, Camp Hooray is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Complete with a lake, dining hall, cabin, yurt, and pavilion, ESP campers are sure to have many adventures this summer. While it’s not quite ready to serve campers overnight, it is a place ready for our campers to have fun!
Camp Hooray is currently in the works of creating something magical for ESP campers. Camp Hooray’s vision is to provide a completely accessible camp for anyone of any ability. It’s Camp Hooray’s mission that kids who use wheelchairs are able to sleep on the top bunk and kids with autism can wander safely and freely. This is a truly unique camp experience because it will be in the only camp that is fully accessible in Georgia.
So what does being fully accessible mean? Well, as a previous camper and someone who’s had to overcome accessibility obstacles, from my perspective, it means that anyone of any ability can fully and independently participate in every aspect of camp. While most camps strive to do their best to achieve this goal, many don’t see the perspective of someone with a disability. For example, many playgrounds say they are accessible, yet they only have a ramp so a wheelchair can go on the playground. However, that is it. A person who uses a wheelchair cannot access all the activities and there’s no activities while on the ramp.
ESP strives to overcome these obstacles and makes sure each camper can engage in the entire camp experience. I think this will be life changing for campers, campers’ families, staff and really everyone. While campers do enjoy the current camp experience and are transformed, I think Camp Hooray will provide a place where campers can truly accomplish anything. It’ll be a special place where campers will beam with happiness as they sleep on the top bunk for the first time or go down a waterslide for the first time. I envision campers coming from all over Georgia and even other states to see partake in this wonderful dream. I hope that when Camp Hooray is complete, other will take notice and start adapting Camp Hooray’s designs into theirs. Not just at camps, but at buildings, places of recreation and schools. I believe Camp Hooray will start a movement for people with disabilities to have complete inclusion in every aspect of life.
To read more about Camp Hooray and to support our dream click here: http://camphooray.com