Camp Victory: A special camp for special kids

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Only about a 20 minute car ride away, Camp Victory sits in a quaint corner of the world down a long private driveway, hiding away in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. Many people who attend Bloomsburg from the suburbs of Philadelphia may not be familiar with its purpose or existence. Residents from the surrounding area of Bloomsburg may be familiar with its location and how it operates as a safe haven/ summer camp for kids with special needs. Most of the week-long camps they have during certain windows of the summer deal with issues ranging from weight management, heart disease, autism, spina bifida and epilepsy. All of the camps ‘Partner Groups’ target specific health concerns for children, providing generous and loving care with professional medical attention when needed during the hot and relaxing days of the summer.

Camp Victory started their first summer with a total number of 455 participants in 1994. Since then, the numbers have steadily risen with each summer. 2009 called for 2,290 people to participate and lend a needy hand. Not only is Camp Victory’s dedication to children unprecedented, they have created a new early fall camp for Adults who no longer can go to the camp once they pass the age of 18. Since early fall includes the beginning of the school year, Camp Victory has created a week-end camp in September for adults. In their yearly newsletter, it read “These young adults so valued the time spent with each other at camp that they pleaded with both their partner-group and Camp Victory to approve it.”  Making dreams come true is something Camp Victory is familiar with.

Each year campers add items to the ‘wish list.’ Requests can range from medical supplies like Epi-pens to something as soothing as wooden rocking chairs. Last summer a child’s wish was met with some help from a charitable donating party. On the wish list was a handicapped accessible tree house. That wish came true when a pharmaceutical company contacted Camp Victory Director Jaime Huntley to give her the good news. A few weeks later the handicapped accessible tree house was built, and one child’s dream came true.

Other activities in which campers can participate in include hiking, archery, a climbing wall, boating, fishing, and various sports all on their 125 acre facility. They also have 12 cabins for campers, two dining halls, a swimming pool, three pavilions, a performance stage, a caretaker house, and comprehensive medical center, all necessary for a fun and safe time.

Camp Victory is operated by many volunteers. Not only does this camp give smiles to its campers, the volunteers are touched by this camps contagious joy that it spreads out. Another quote from the newsletter read “volunteering at Camp Victory changed my life.” All walks of life volunteer for this camp, from boy scouts, counselors, church groups, neighbors, educators, farmers, business people, school children, college students and retirees. All of the volunteers are in search for one thing: happy campers.

If you have any relatives, sisters, brothers, friends or family members who might be interested in Camp Victory, let them know. Either it be volunteering at the camp, participating in a program, or just donating a few dollars, don’t hesitate to contact this great organization. No matter what the intention, donation size or skill one can teach, a smile can be produced, which is all anyone could ever ask for.

Contact:  Jamie Huntley, Camp Victory Director: (570)458 6530, fun@campvictory.org

Or visit their website at www.campvictory.org

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