More than 60 children with limb loss or limb differences from 30 states recently participated in myriad physical activities, team-building exercises, and opportunities to learn from peers and adult amputee mentors at theyouth camp established by the Amputee Coalition of America, Knoxville, Tenn, now in its ninth year.
Canoeing, swimming, basketball and wheelchair football were among the recreational activities for the youths, ages 10 through 16. They also participated in archery, arts and crafts, dance, music, an adventure ropes course, disc golf, and tennis.
One of the most popular activities was the zip line, where campers climbed a 30-foot tower and then rode the zip line down to the ground, almost as if they were flying.
“After going on the zip line, I know I can do anything!” said one camper.
Kendra Calhoun, the Coalition’s president and CEO, says it is a unique experience. "In addition to physical activities, we focus on leadership development, nutrition education, improving self-esteem, creating positive social interaction, developing peer support, and, of course, having fun,” she says. Moving the camp to the Joy Outdoor Education Center in Clarksville, Ohio, with its top-notch facilities and highly skilled and experienced staff, was a tremendous success, she says.
The camp’s sponsors and supporters include: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati Recreation Commission/Division of Therapeutic Recreation, Otto Bock HealthCare, Ohio Willow Wood, the Orthotic and Prosthetic Assistance Fund, ASPIRE, and Innovating Worthy Projects Foundation.
Some 70,000 individuals under the age of 18 are living with limb loss in the United States, according to the coalition, a national, nonprofit consumer educational organization that empowers those who have experienced amputation or are born with limb differences, through education, support, and advocacy.
For more information, visit the organization’s Web site or call (888) 267-5669.