‘Camp IVEY’ works to show children with developmental delays can enjoy summer camp activities

Camp Ivey
Camp Ivey

LINCOLNTON, Ga. (WJBF) – Camp IVEY is in its first year and it shows that all kids can enjoy that camp experience.

“What were you just doing out there?” we asked. “Parachuting,” replied Annie Allston with excitement.

Little Annie Allston and dozens of other high functioning children with developmental delays are staying active at Camp IVEY.

“A lot of children don’t get a chance to go to summer camp because of the challenges and over stimulation. Lack of structure, lack of routine,” said Assistant Director Sharon Swift.

But this camp gives them a chance with activities tailor made just for them.

“They need a lot of one on one attention, a lot of one on one understanding,” said Swift.

Camp IVEY is a week long camp, hosted at the Family Y’s Camp Lakeside. Public Relations Director, Katie Duncan says it’s a week full of action-packed activities for these young boys and girls.

“They’ve been kayaking, they road horses this morning. They did karate yesterday and broke some boards. It’s just really exciting and you can see the pure joy on their faces,” said Duncan.

It’s not just kids enjoying themselves. Co-Director Chandler Hammond says the past few days have been a blast for the adults, volunteering from Augusta University.

“Oh it’s been absolutely amazing, we couldn’t ask for a better group of kids, better group of counselors,” said Hammond.

All involved say there’s nothing like seeing the smile on the kids’ faces, from breaking out the parachute that you may remember as a kid to enjoying arts and crafts like weaving.

“The kids love it. One of the kids has already renamed it ‘Camp Awesome.’ Another camper has said it’s her best day ever,” said Swift.

Duncan says they are working to make sure more kids can get involved with Camp IVEY next year so they can also have that classic camp experience. But for this year, there’s still a lot Camp IVEY has to offer.

“Friday night they will spend the night and have a bonfire and get that real camp experience. But we’re just real excited. It’s our inaugural year and we hope it keeps growing,” said Duncan.

If you’d like to help Camp IVEY grow even larger next year, head to the http://www.familyy.org. You can also follow them on Facebook.

IVEY is an acronym for “Inspiring Very Exceptional Youth.”

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