Camp Amp offers fun for special needs children, respite for caregivers

August 07, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Robert Maichle, 12, of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., jumps into the pool at Camp Joy El in Antrim Township, Pa., on Tuesday. Robert is a camper in "Camp Amp" from Easter Seals.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — While Olympic events continue to be held this week on an international stage, 27 campers from Easter Seals are tackling creative twists on the sports.

The 100-meter backward dash and dizzy discus are among activities planned for Camp Amp.

“Our theme for the week is Olympics,” said Liz Bunting, Camp Amp director and a therapeutic recreation program coordinator with Easter Seals.

For the second year, Camp Amp is being held at Camp Joy El in Antrim Township, Pa. Campers ages 7 to 17 hail from Franklin, Cumberland, York, Dauphin and Lancaster counties.

Not only do the youths enjoy themselves, but parents and caregivers get a week of respite, Bunting said.

“It can really be a burden caring for a child with special needs. Everybody needs a vacation sometimes,” she said.

Activities include arts and crafts, canoeing, rock climbing, swimming, scrambling on the camp’s giant swing and “flying squirrel” apparatus, miniature golf and go-karts.


“We just want them to have fun, feel like kids, go to camp and have a great time,” Bunting said.

The children can improve social skills and have fun trying new activities, she said.

Steven Bowman, 10, of Waynesboro, Pa., said lights out in the cabins is at 10:30 p.m. He enjoys the swimming and campfires.

“It’s a lot of fun, and there are a lot of things to do,” he said.

Nicole Mettert, 15, of St. Thomas, Pa., also enjoys the afternoon swimming. She made a tie-dye pillow case earlier this week.

The Waynesboro Area Civitan Club donated money to make scholarships available, Bunting said.

Manitowoc and F&M Trust provided donations used for programming, she said.

For more information about the camp or Easter Seals, go to

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