(EFFINGHAM/SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) will complete another successful Camp Buddy on Friday, August 3 at 12:00pm when 19 campers will receive graduation medals during ceremonies to be held at Marshpoint Elementary on Whitemarsh Island Road.
The Effingham County Camp Buddy graduated 11 campers on July 29, 2012.
About Camp Buddy:
Geared for children (ages 3 to 12) with Down Syndrome, Camp Buddy offers educational, therapeutic and recreational activities that are specifically designed with these special kids in mind. Speech, physical and occupational therapists are on board to help campers improve fine and gross motor, speech and social skills. By accomplishing these things their confidence is built up and their unlimited potential is realized.
This year, four seniors from the Armstrong Atlantic physical therapy program volunteered at the camp and were joined by several local high school students who are planning to pursue careers in special education, speech, occupational and physical therapy. Two adult camp assistants, both who have Down Syndrome, rounded out the camp staff roster as they lent a helping hand and inspired everyone with their energy and positive personalities.
Camp Buddy bridges the summer-time gap between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. “All of these differently-abled children work very hard during the school year and make tremendous gains academically. Our therapy based camp is strenuous but absolutely necessary to promote retention of these gains” says Molly Marchese,the mother of one of the campers, Ella, and an organizer of Camp Buddy.
Speech and social skills improve during the school year so it is crucial that these children do not lose that momentum when school closes for the summer. Camp Buddy helps the children to prepare for the upcoming challenges they face as they advance through the school system.
Highlights at this year’s camps included food therapy with Chef Nick Mueller (Chef Nick Mueller & Company Catering), as well as bike, tricycle, and scooter board riding, activities that not only build motor skills, but also increase the camper’s confidence. Music, dance time, arts and crafts added to the fun.
Each camper is sent home with an individualized therapy plan, a medal, a certificate and a wonderful sense of accomplishment achieved through this exceptional day camp experience.
Camps are funded by money raised through the organization’s annual Down Syndrome Buddy Walk held each October and the continuous support of the local community.
The seventh annual Buddy Walk for the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society is planned for October 6, 2012 at Forsyth Park. During October, National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, more than 300 Buddy Walks will occur throughout the United States. Last year over 4000 people came out to support Down Syndrome awareness in the Savannah area. For more information about the Buddy Walk, please contact John or Candy Bogardus at (912) 728-8505. http://www.ldssga.org
About the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society:
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a support group to benefit people with Down Syndrome and their families through local leadership in support, outreach, education and advocacy. Meetings are held every 4th Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. We encourage people to bring their children. We are an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society.
For more information about LDSS or to register for next year’s camp contact John Bogardus at (912) 728-8505. http://www.ldssga.org