For most children in Effingham County, last week served as just another portion of their summer break filled with trips to the pool, beach or being lazy at home. While that may be the case for the majority, a select group of kids were busy learning, interacting and participating in various activities at Camp Buddy.
Camp Buddy is a summer day-camp for children in the area hosted by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society and held at Rincon Elementary School. For those who participate as either campers or counselors, the camp serves as one of the highlights of the summer – a week in which the smiles never fade and memories are made.
The camp is split into two age groups with the younger children attending a morning session and the older kids attending an afternoon session.
Molly Marchese, Director of Effingham Camp Buddy, explained that while a lot of the activities the campers participate in are geared towards having fun, they are also learning important skills at the same time.
“They are learning motor skills and working on physical therapy,” Marchese said while campers did a series of stretches and exercises led by counselors. “They’re also working on their core strength and learning to follow instructions.”
One portion of Friday’s schedule for the morning session involved the campers going to the gym and sitting down with counselors to work on stretching, following directions and working on physical therapy.
They did a series of grabs, squeezes and pulls of different body parts, mimicking what they were instructed to do.
Following their stretching, the campers ran a few laps around the gym to get their energy going before meeting in the middle of the gym to play a game of parachute.
Sitting in a circle, campers and counselors surrounded a colorful parachute and altogether raised their arms to lift the parachute. A few moments later, a ball was added and a game of ‘popcorn’ was played.
Many of the campers are returning members of Camp Buddy while others were attending for their first time.
With Friday serving as the final day of Camp Buddy, campers will have to wait until next summer for their fun week of camp to return.
There will be another session of Camp Buddy in Chatham County in July as the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society hosts various sessions during the summer.
For more information on the camp or on the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society, visit their website at www.ldssga.org.