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Spring Break Overnight Camp Seeking Families with Special Needs
LAKE GEORGE – If you are part of a family that has a child with special needs or a life threatening illness, or know one – this may be the most important story you read today.
A fully funded overnight family camp program is looking to add 10-15 additional families to take part in this free, yet priceless experience. The details are below, but you must act quickly.
Camp TLC – a free camp experience that connects children who have experienced medical or life trauma by offering unique ways of coping through recreational and performing arts based activities – is expanding to include Saratoga County families, and will take place during this year’s spring break period – from April 24-28. The camp will be hosted at the YMCA Camp Chingachgook in Lake George.
Camp TLC, which stands for Together Living a Challenge, has a program model that incorporates the whole family unit into the camp experience – with an emphasis on developing necessary skills and building self-esteem as a means to overcome challenges.
According to Founder and Executive Director Caroline Baumis, herself a native of Saratoga Springs, similar camps around the country have been successful over the past five years and she is particularly excited about establishing Camp TLC in her native region. “We are honored and grateful for our connections in Upstate New York and excited to expand our program to meet the needs of more children and families in Saratoga County. Our relationships with local organizations – including the Upstate New York Austism Alliance – help us recruit new families so that we can provide a week of resources, respite, love and wellness.”
“We are especially thankful for the support of foundations such as the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust, Charles R. Wood Foundation, and the Kennedy Mulcahy Fund of the Ethel and W. George Kennedy Foundation for their continuous support of our camp program.” Baumis has previously been involved with a day camp for backstretch workers and other charitable activities such as with Medical Missions for Children. She noted that the overnight camp model has proven to be logistically easier to achieve than day camps (where daily transportation could be an issue for some) while proving to be a superior experience for participating families.
While many local families have been recruited for the April camp, the good news is that there is room for up to about 15 more. There is an application process, and it is requested that you apply by March 21, to allow for screening and processing. Here is what you do:
Families that participate in Camp TLC at Chingachgook will be able to participate in a broad variety of activities that you would expect from a comprehensive camp experience, including yoga, massage, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, bingo nights, sing-alongs with local favorite Rich Ortiz around the campfire, drive-in movie night, hiking and other outdoor activities, guitar and theater lessons, in addition to special theme days such as carnival day and color games in which kids get to ‘pie’ their parents. “That’s always a favorite,” Baumis said, laughing.
Overall, “Our campers will love the warm and encouraging atmosphere and it serves the entire family,” Baumis said.
For more information, visit www.thecamptlc.org. Camp TLC also has Facebook and Twitter pages.