All of our kids need a little something special to help them succeed in life. And, today, I am going to tell you about a summer camp that provides just that! It literally changes lives! It's United Cerebral Palsy's Camp SMILE!
It's a camp designed to help children and adults with special needs. Camp SMILE is just like any other summer camp. It's a sleep-away camp. Campers go for a week at a time. Each week is divided up by age. We visited the camp last week and the campers were ages five through eight. They were having a great time enjoying all things summer camp.
"We provide camp with no limits. And, so many of these children are not allowed to go to Girl Scout Camp, Boy Scout Camp, church camp. And, so this is a place where they can come and do all of those activities that others get to enjoy. And, their siblings can come with them. They can't go to camp with their siblings, but here they can go to camp as a family," explains Camp SMILE Director Cecy Lowell.
Camp SMILE goes for four weeks each summer. Counselors, organizers, volunteers, and families all say it's just a really great opportunity for everyone involved all the way around!
And, United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile (UCP) offers all kinds of other opportunities. UCP works with hundreds of families in our community. The non-profit organization specializes in helping people with special needs. Their programs start as early as birth with Early Intervention. They offer everything from pre-school to adult day programs. If you have a family member with special needs, you can contact UCP and the folks there can point you in whatever direction you need -- they'll help connect you with therapists, programs, and/or services. There are all kinds of things available in our community.
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