Inclusive 4-H camp is for youth with medically diagnosed disabilities
BY PAUL SCHATTENBERG
BROWNWOOD – The Texas 4-H Conference Center in Brownwood will host the 2018 Camp Mission Possible July 2-4.
“Camp Mission Possible is a unique co-educational inclusive residential camp designed for youth with medically diagnosed disabilities,” said Cari Snider, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 4-H program coordinator at the center.
The 4-H center is located at 5600 Farm-to-Market Road 3021 on the western side of Lake Brownwood. The 78-acre site is accredited by the American Camp Association, so families are assured of a quality program and facility that meets its rigorous standards, Snider said.
Mission Possible camp is designated for youth 8-21 years of age.
“The camp itself features traditional camp experiences such as kayaking, shooting sports, challenge course activities, arts and crafts, environmental education, swimming, dancing and more,” she said.
The camp is for youth who have completed the second grade by the time of camp. All applicants are required to submit an application. To apply, email Snider at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications will be reviewed and the camper’s parent or guardian will be contacted to ensure the camp and facility can adequately meet the needs of their camper.
Snider said campers are paired with a “buddy” or mentor to help ensure they have a successful experience.
Participating youth will be housed by gender and in air-conditioned dormitories with each room having its own restroom and shower facilities. Programs are coordinated by AgriLife Extension professionals and college interns assisted by older 4-H mentors.
“There is a nurse on duty 24/7 and all medications are administered by the nurse,” Snider said. “And a full-time staff at the center provides three balanced meals each day. Lunch and dinner include a self-serve salad bar, ensuring something for everyone. We also make accommodations for campers with food allergies or special meal requests, and the camp registration form has a place to provide information about these special requirements.“
The camp begins at 2 p.m. July 2 and concludes at 3 p.m. July 4. Cost is $175 per camper for registration before June 14. Registration covers all meals, lodging, refreshments, health care services, facility and programming fees, and a commemorative T-shirt.
Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis until the camp is filled, and all applicants must complete a registration form. Once campers are approved and parents or guardians are contacted, initial registration can be made with a $25 non-refundable deposit through June 14. All payments must be received by June 30.
Camp mentors participate in hands-on activities to help them become aware of the practical challenges created in adapting to certain disabilities, Snider said. They are 4-H members from across the state selected by an application process. At least 20 4-H youth will be selected to serve as mentors.
“Those eligible to be mentors are any current 4-H youth who have completed eighth grade by the start of the camp and would like to serve alongside 4-H center counselors, program assistants and adult volunteers to provide a safe and fun experience for the campers,” Snider said.
She said the camp is an excellent opportunity for 4-H members to participate in a hands-on service learning activity and develop their leadership skills.
4-H members who would like to serve as mentors must apply by March 15 by contacting Snider. There is no fee to apply and the 2018 Mentor Team will be announced by April 15. If selected, mentors pay a $125 registration fee and report to the 4-H Center July 1 for training.
“Those being considered as mentors should not register for camp until notified they have been selected as a mentor,” Snider said. “All mentors are required to participate in training as well as participate in any online preparatory meetings before the camp.”
For mentor information, contact Snider at 325-784-5482 or email@example.com.