Cape Gazette

Special Olympics takes over Camp Barnes for three days of fun and memories

Jul 19, 2013
Photo by: Dan Cook Special Olympics counselors Annie Manista, left, and Corrin Rogers toss athlete Emma Hines during their fun time at the pool during the 13th Annual Special Olympics Delaware Summer Camp at Camp Barnes.

Fifty-one Special Olympics Delaware athletes and more than 35 volunteers attended the 13th annual Special Olympics Delaware Summer Camp July 16 to 18 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, 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, 25 high school students volunteered as counselors as part of Special Olympics Delaware’s Project UNIFY initiative. Students took on leadership roles in creating a fun, positive and welcoming environment that develops camaraderie, teamwork and friendship among everyone in attendance.

Special Olympics Project UNIFY, in its fifth year, 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 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Special Olympics athlete Kenny Riddle, right, gets archery instructions from Jim Kemble of the University of Delaware 4H shooting sports. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Kenny Riddle, right, hits the target as instructor Jim Kemble looks on. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Project Unify coordinator Kiley Melvin, right, helps buckle up athlete Scott Clemons for his trip in the pontoon boat. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Volunteer Barbara Spence, left, assists Antonia Harris in making a mask during arts and crafts time. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Athlete David Dube gets a cat nap while waiting for the archery activity. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
The pool was the favorite place to be during the high heat. Shown in back (l-r) are counselors Carol Breeding, Miranda Vickers, Caroline Breeding, Adrienne Dorley, Annie Manista, Jessica Peters, athlete Emma Hines, counselor Corrin Rogers and Olivia Davidson; in front are athletes Tayla Robeson, Ginger Shaud and Mikayla Buterbaugh. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Shove off! Staff member Mark Wise pushes Vicki (back) and Amanda Bogia from the beach for a kayak tour. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Volunteer Len Leshem, left, and staff member Mark Wise assist athlete Cristina Dailey into her kayak. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Athlete Tayla Robeson gets some swimming assistance from counselor Adrienne Dorley. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Athlete Antonia Harris, left, gets a ride from counselor Allie Woodard. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Athlete Morgan Jungling, left, has a great time on the water with counselor Rachel Grimm. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Athlete Angelina Bufano, front, and counselor Kate Goorland take a break from paddling. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Volunteer Carol Breeding, left, helps Tayla Robeson relax and enjoy the pool. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Athlete Antonia Harris gets a ride to the boating area from counselor Allie Woodard. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Athlete Jahue Trey Howell III gets some archery assistance from Jim Kemble. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Athlete Morgan Jungling shows off her Pittsburgh colors sand art during Arts and Crafts. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Pals Amy Gootzatt,l, and Ashley Tiese show a little love at lunch. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Project Unify coordinator Kiley Kelvin buckles up Frank Riley-Spillane for his upcoming pontoon ride. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Athlete Kristin Labella shows off her sand art. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Special Olympics Delaware Executive Director Ann Grunert,r, cooks the lunch fajita mix with Merry Jones. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Cool times were had on the water. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Athlete Anthony Benevento,l, is served a healthy lunch from SODE staff member Cheryl Talmo. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
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