Recreational camping builds self-esteem and develops independence. For individuals with a disability, camping can be seen as a huge challenge or not a possibility at all. In Empire, Colorado, just west of Denver, there is a fully accessible Easter Seals camp called Rocky Mountain Village. Over 800 disabled individuals come from all over the world to attend the camp every summer. Campers enjoy fishing, swimming, overnight camping, outdoor cooking, travel camp, day trips, arts and crafts, sports and recreation, hiking, dancing, music and drama, horseback riding, accessible climbing tower and riding the zip line. Each week during the summer is categorized for a specific age range as well as ability. One week may be devoted to campers 35 years old and older with physical disabilities and the next week might focus on teens with muscular dystrophy. Campers are paired on a 3:1, 2:1 or 1:1 ratio, depending on his/her needs. Many campers have been going to this camp for over twenty years.
This week also offers respite to caregivers. Many disabled individuals require full time assistance with activities of daily living. It can be challenging for caregivers to find time to do activities outside the realm of the daily routine. Knowing that your loved one is having a fun time in a safe and nurturing environment makes it so much easier for the caregiver to really take some time off.
Our vocation toward the Rocky Mountain Village camp program is that DSC offers partial scholarships to Colorado Springs individuals who are eligible based on financial information provided to the camp. The cost for most sessions in 2016 is $850 which includes a non-refundable $150 registration fee. Camp sessions fill up quickly so if you are interested in attending, please visit the camp web site at www.EasterSealsColorado.org and go to the Rocky Mountain Village page.
ATTENTION DONORS – DSC raises funds throughout the entire year to be able to provide partial camp scholarships for disabled individuals from Colorado Springs to attend Rocky Mountain Village camp. Generous donations from individuals and organizations over the past ten years have enabled us to send over 400 people to camp. Your gift will allow us to continue helping the disabled enjoy a week in the mountains at this awe inspiring camp while giving their caregivers a well-deserved respite. Memories will be made to last a life time. For the summer of 2015 we assisted 15 individuals to go to camp. So far this year we have awarded 17 individuals partial scholarships for summer 2016. Funds are raised throughout the year for the following summer.