INCLUDEnyc Voices

Creating Community at Camp

 

At the upcoming INCLUDEnyc Fair on Saturday, January 26, families can meet face-to-face with over 80 summer camps, afterschool, weekend, arts, sports, social, and recreational programs, including Southampton Fresh Air Home (SFAH), a co-ed sleepaway camp for children with disabilities.

Southampton Fresh Air Home is a camp for children 8-18, who are mostly wheelchair users. With four acres of beautiful property to explore, kids are busy 24/7 with access to swimming pools, sports arenas and other resources. “Parents are often concerned about the cost of camp, and whether or not it’s an option for them. We work hard to make this experience affordable for as many families as possible,” said Camp Director David Billingham.

Aside from having fun, kids build positive self-identity, learn greater independence, and feel supported. “At school, kids can feel bullied. At camp, kids are in a safe space where they can share their experiences, make friends and be themselves,” David said.

Fortunately, campers can rely on this community long after summer is over. “Our alumni programs keep campers connected well into their 20s. We also have a mentorship program, which helps our alums support the next generation of campers,” David said. For year-round programs, alumni also assist with field trip supervision.

Like many others, David is looking forward to meeting new young people and their families at the Fair. “Our camp has been attending this Fair for over 25 years now. We always are excited to meet new families. There are many organizations in attendance, so it’s great for us professionally as well,” David said.

Learn more at www.sfah.org or swing by their table on January 26th.

- Carly Wolff