Cape Gazette

Special Olympics takes over Camp Barnes for a weekend of fun

Aug 28, 2013
Photo by: Dan Cook Special Olympics athlete Torie Moore hits her mark on the disc golf ninth hole as counselor and caddy Erica Brown looks on.

More than 60 Special Olympics Delaware athletes and 35 volunteers attended the 13th Annual Special Olympics Delaware Summer Camp Aug. 10 to 12 at Camp Barnes in Frankford.

Summer camp is one of the most anticipated events of the year for Special Olympics athletes of all ages and abilities. Campers, who travel from all areas of the state to attend, participate in several traditional camp activities like fishing, canoeing, swimming and crafts, just to name a few, while enjoying the opportunity to reacquaint with old friends and meet new friends during the three-day, two-night camp experience.

For the third consecutive year and second camp session this summer, 25 high school students volunteered as counselors as part of Special Olympics Delaware Project Unify initiative. Students take one leadership roles in creating a fun, positive welcoming environment that develops camaraderie, teamwork and friendship among everyone in attendance.

In its fifth year, Special Olympics Project Unify is an education-based project that uses sports and leadership programs to activate young people to develop school communities where all youth are agents of change, fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities.

"Project Unify summer camp is about three amazing days where students interact with Special Olympics athletes in an inclusive setting to enjoy a traditional camp experience together," said Kylie Melvin, Project Unify coordinator. "The students develop a greater understanding and appreciation of their peers with disabilities, and it serves as a tremendous lesson that all people are more alike than different."

The mission of Special Olympics Delaware is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for 3,500 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.


Special Olympics athlete Kendra Surin of Ocean City draws her bow and focuses on the target as volunteer Tinker Severson of the 4-H Shooting Sports Program teaches the art of archery. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Swimming is an anticipated fun and cooling event at SODE Summer Camp. At any time a pool volleyball game can break out. Shown (l-r) are athetes Greg Cloud, Andy Merovitz, Alex Sklar and Siegy Tomczyk. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE athlete Lynn Dolphin shows off her Justin Bieber dance during free time activity. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
LeBron James, watch out! SODE athlete Becky Longo sinks a bucket during the basketball activity. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Dancing during free time are (l-r) counselor Kathy Denny and athletes Ashlie Lake and Kaylin Becker. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE athlete Chris Smith made a mask to wear to the camp Halloween costume party. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
The Pink cabin showing off their archery camaraderie are (l-r) counselor Nicole Mahaney, athlete Patricia Pecora, athlete Laura Scott, volunteer Becca Kowalski, athlete Kim Jones, volunteer Kate Goorland and athlete Beth Fuhs. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE athlete Steve Dagg fills his glass globe with beautiful sand art during arts and crafts. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Having a break during free time are volunteers (l-r) Hannah Griffiths, Erica Brown, Ellie Anderson, Mary Giles, athlete Sara Giles, Lisa Tursi and Casey Polasko. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Longtime SODE volunteer Winnie Spence, center, is joined by counselors Kate Goorland, left, and Allie Woodard. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Riding on the pontoon boat is a popular activity during the SODE camp experience. SODE Director of Sports Gary Cimaglia, right, assists Laura Scott with her life vest as athlete Kendra Surin gets a hand from volunteer Chip Thomas. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Ahoy mates! SODE athletes and counselors depart for a ride around Rehoboth Bay. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE athletes (l-r) Erin Bailey and Patricia Pecora and counselor Lauren Conley show off their stylish safety gear as they depart on their pontoon ride. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE athlete Geoffrey Steggell, center, takes kayak paddling instruction from Mark Wise, director of training and volunteer management as volunteer Eric Halton waits at the stern. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
We're off! SODE athlete Geoffrey Steggell, front, and counselor Eric Halton power around the bay during the kayaking activity. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE volunteer Carley Schiavoni, left, and athlete Sarah Szewzyk pose for a picture. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE athlete Beth Fuhs gets arm protection assistance from 4-H Shooting Sports Program volunteer Jim Kimble. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE athlete Jeff Conk, front, does the steering as volunteer Cheryl Talmo supplies the power during the canoeing activity. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE athlete Rachel Rhea, left, takes aim at a disc golf flag as volunteer Erica Brown and athlete Torie Moore look on. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Don't fear, Captain America is here! Brian Perry of Frederica shows off his superhero outfit at the Camp Barnes costume party held during the last night of Special Olympics Summer Camp. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE volunteer Erin Lawler, left, and athlete Kendra Surin pose for a photo during the Halloween-themed costume party. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE Carol Bak of Ocean View shows off her outfit while dancing at the Halloween-themed costume party. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Howdy, pardner! SODE athlete Christian Garrison rides into the Halloween party on his powerful bull. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE athletes Beth Lints, left, and Keith Crowell enjoy dancing at the Halloween-themed party. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE athletes, brothers Andy, left, and Sam Merovitz strut their stuff at the Halloween-themed party. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE volunteer Allie Woodard, left, and athlete Marissa Hammond dance to an oldie at the costume party. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Cat in the Hat athlete Elizabeth Nolan dances with Captain America aka Brian Perry during the costume party. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
SODE athlete Alex Brathwaite says Arrr! (Photo by: Dan Cook)
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