Camp Able special needs summer camp

Student volunteers and 45 campers from near and far blasted off on a special mission today.

To the moon, Mars, and beyond: together we go farther. That is the theme of this year’s Camp Able, a week long annual summer camp hosted by St. Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church where young kids with special needs have the chance to feel weightless from the outside world. Camp counselor Hannah Gest said, “My mission is kind of to show that we all have our own abilities. It’s not necessarily they’re inhibited by their abilities, they just have different kinds.”

Camp counselors from all around volunteer their time to help make an impact on these kids. “Honestly, I think they’re the ones inspiring me. They’re the ones waking up every day not letting anything stop them. They have so much energy. It honestly inspires me to wake up and be more grateful,” said Gest.

Based on similar interests, they’re paired up with a camper who they’ll spend the week with doing activities like arts and crafts, swimming with dolphins, and riding in an airplane. School board teacher Kirby Barkley said, “Camp Able is very important to this community. We’ve taken some great field trips this year especially. The Gulf Coast has totally opened up for us. It’s a really special week.”

Camp Able launched just five years ago, but in that time, they’ve created plenty of space for new kids to come have fun and highlight their abilities. “It’s grown tremendously. Our numbers have exploded because parents understand the service we provide.”

Camp Able finishes the week with a special talent show put on by the campers.

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