60 for 60
May 2nd, 2012 by by Tim Hileman, Executive Director of Indian Trails Camp
This summer will mark the 60th anniversary of Indian Trails Camp. It’s hard to believe that it was just 60 years ago when the parents of children from Eastern Orthopedic School in Grand Rapids got together with principals Cynthia Heth and Margaret Hamilton, dreaming of an all-inclusive summer camp that their children could be a part of. This vision went on to create an amazing camp that has served thousands of individuals with disabilities throughout the years.
The facilities, programs and services at Indian Trails Camp have changed and in many cases expanded—we are now a year-round organization serving children and adults with physical and/or developmental abilities through Skill-Building services, Respite Weekends, Day-Camp, Community Living Supports and Summer Camp. However, while our organization has grown to serve even more individuals than ever before, the core mission and values at Indian Trails Camp have remained steadfast.
Indian Trails Camp is been a place where all individuals—regardless of their disability— can experience “Love, Excitement, Friendship, Independence, Community, Recreation, Laughter and Esteem” in a camp setting. It is a place to leave life’s worries behind and experience the feelings of comfort and support. This special place has been so important to so many lives for the past 60 years. From all of us at Indian Trails Camp, I would like to thank you for being a part of this with us.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary at Indian Trails Camp, a large volunteer project entitled “60 for 60” is currently underway. The goal of this project is to have a day of volunteering to commemorate each year of Indian Trails Camp, so we need your help in filling 60 days of volunteering!
There are numerous volunteer days and opportunities available weekdays and weekends throughout this year and include everything from painting, raking and planting to cleaning, building and fixing. So get your friends together, grab some office mates, bring your family and help make Indian Trails Camp an even greater experience for all we serve.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Amy DeMott (616) 677-5251.
“I Love camp because it gives me an opportunity to do things I can’t do other places. I make lots of friends and I can do lots of activities like rope climbing, row boat, swimming, arts & crafts”.
-Craig P (Camper)
A Gift to Your Child
March 30th, 2012 by By: Roberta King, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Perhaps, camp is a generational thing. If you went to camp as a kid, you’re more likely to send your own kids to camp.
I went to Girl Scout camp from age eight to 18 (I was a counselor by 18), and I loved the experiences. My husband Mike never went to camp, his family had a cottage so he summered there. When our kids came of age, I was totally ready to send them to camp. Mike, not so much. I had to convince him that camps are safe, well-staffed and most importantly fun. Until the day we dropped our six year old son Noah off at Indian Trails Camp, Mike was doubtful that this was a good idea. Of course, Noah had a great time at camp! He got to swim every day, made crafts, got to hang out with kids like him and cool teen counselors and ate great camp food. He was safe and returned home happy. What more could a parent want? Our daughter, Tasha was proud to have been a camper at Camp Pendalouan for five summers in a row and also enjoyed summers at Camp Henry and SpringHill Camp.
At camp I learned how to get along with new people and make friends with girls from different ethnicities and backgrounds. I learned to appreciate the out of doors and picked up some great wilderness survival skills. I learned how to cook over a fire and how to make hand cranked ice cream. I still remember all the verses and motions to hundreds of great songs. I became a strong swimmer and capable boater. I learned at an early age that there was a big world outside my family, and that I could survive without my parents for a week or two. I went to camp not knowing anyone and made friends with people I still know and enjoy.
Have no doubt, summer camp is a gift you can give your child that will last longer and be more meaningful than anything you can buy in a store.