Year-round camp breaks down barriers for children with special needs

A camp works to break down barriers for people with special needs
A camp works to break down barriers for people with special needs

HOUSTON – A year-round camp in Washington County is changing the way people with special needs experience camp.

Camp For All is a 206-acre campus in Burton that specializes in activities for disabled children and adults without any barriers, said President and CEO Pat Sorrells. The camp hosts 11,000 campers each year between January and November.

“Campers can go anywhere. Campers can do anything,” she said.

Campers can attend for free.

Sorrells said the camp splits the $1,000 per person cost in half with its 65 community partners. Those organizations sign up the campers, bring the medical staff and provide in-cabin counselors, Sorrells said. The camp pays the rest with the help of donations.

“Campers come here and discover what they can do as opposed to out in the real world what they can’t do. It is life-changing for all of them,” she said.

There is no shortage of activities, including rock climbing, basketball, horseback riding, photography, and campers can even produce a newscast. Plus, the entire facility is wheelchair accessible.

“They really get to do things that they don’t get to do anywhere else,” said camp director Kurt Podeszwa.

He said the freedom helps campers build independence and gain confidence during their short stay. The camp typically runs a week.

“When they come here, they might be apprehensive, and when they leave, they feel like they can do things they didn’t think they could do,” he said.

Camp For All can accommodate up to three groups at a time.

For more information on Camp For All on how to sign up or how to donate, click here.