Enthusiastic shouts rang out from both counselors and campers during a series of goofy games, craft projects and creation of grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. But that’s not unusual. Kids typically have fun at day camp.
But what happens when you mix kids of many different ages and abilities? FOC’s volunteer camp counselors learned that’s fun, too. But it has a little different impact on each person involved.
Camp Corazon included three days of fun for 18 children, nine teen counselors and seven adult leaders. The high ratio of counselors and leaders to campers made it possible for seven children with special needs to have a great experience, too.
The camp took place at Casita Corazon, a therapy house in Cozumel sponsored by a nonprofit called Carrie’s Heart. During past mission trips, Friends of Cozumel renovated the formerly abandoned property so that families of children with disabilities have a place to work with visiting therapists and medical professionals.
The day camp brought together a diverse group of children and teens to enjoy activities including outdoor games, music, arts and crafts and a bit of meal preparation.
“We really have several layers of mission,” said Carrie of Carrie’s Heart. “First is to provide stimulating activities and socialization for children with disabilities. Then we hope to develop friendships among all the children. For the teens, it’s an opportunity to raise awareness and open their minds to working with kids with special needs.”
Wil from Texas served as one of the teen counselors, working specifically with a camper named Luisito. “It’s going great,” he said. “I’ve done some of this type of work in the U.S. with Special Olympics and other things because of my mom’s job in special education. Of course here it’s harder to communicate since I don’t know Spanish, but this is actually more fun.”
Luisito appeared to be having a great time with Will, but he didn’t have time to comment. He was too busy whacking golf balls around the yard in his new hat that said Camp Corazon. –Phyllis