Camp for All: a barrier-free wonderland where all children can participate

It's a magical place where miracles happen. It's called Camp For All: a barrier-free wonderland where all children can participate

BURTON, Texas—For many kids who may have physical, cognitive, or developmental limitations, enjoying activities at typical summer camp may be a challenge.

However, there’s one summer camp where all kids of all abilities can participate in every activity, regardless of limitations.

It’s called Camp For All, and it’s a magical place where confidence grows and all campers can see their stars shine even brighter.

“Everything about this camp is designed so everybody can do everything,” said Pat Sorrells, President and CEO of Camp For All.

Sorrells explained that all aspects of the 206-acre camp are barrier free.  For example, the sidewalks are eight feet wide, so two people in wheelchairs can roll side by side. 

Camp For All has many activities available, like horseback riding, canoeing, zip-lining, archery, and swimming.

Quint Rule is back for his six year of camp.  The 13-year-old says he likes rock climbing and paint-ball the best, “because it’s so much fun.”

In addition to riding horses, campers can interact with animals, including a large tortoise named Forrest.

A few years ago, Camp For All added a complex called, The Star Place.

Inside, campers that cannot be outside can do the same activities indoors protected from the sun, including rock climbing and a challenge course.

The Star Place also has activities where campers can dream big, like dressing up and taking the stage for a performance, recording their own music, or creating their own news broadcast.

“They’re doing fun things and yet they’re learning from it,” said Sorrells.

For Melody Howard, Camp For All really makes a difference for her son 17-year-old son, Landon.

“There’s not a lot of opportunities for him to go to the Y and normal camps, so this is an experience for him to be with other special kids like him and just have a blast,” said Howard.

The unofficial camp ambassador, David Hernandez, has been coming to the camp for almost 20 years.

The 53-year-old starting attending Camp for All when they first opened and said he enjoys “seeing some of my friends and making new friends.”

Camp For All works with 64 not-for-profit partners, like the Arc of Greater Houston, to bring children and adults to the campgrounds year-round.

Money raised through donations cover half of the cost for each child who attends.  So far this year, Camp For All has welcomed 11,000 children and adults to the grounds.

Staff and volunteers of Camp For All have made it a place where dreams can come true.

“You come to Camp For All, and it’s not ‘I can’t’, it’s ‘I can,’” said Sorrells.  “Kids leave here with a change in their whole attitude.  They are truly living life,” she added.

It’s truly a camp- for all.

© 2017 KAGS-TV


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