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New programs coming to MedCamps of Louisiana for summer 2021

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 11:32 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - MedCamps of Louisiana is getting its summer programs back on track after a trying year.

“Our campers, the pandemic was probably more debilitating than for anybody else, what limited activities they had available to them in their own communities was taken away,” says Caleb Seney, Executive Director of MedCamps. “Every day our campers deal with things that I can’t possibly fathom, and they persevere, they show a true grit.”

MedCamps gives kids with chronic illnesses and disabilities a place to experience new things in a summer camp environment. They have hundreds of kids participate in their week-long camps during the summer each year.

In 2020, COVID-19 put a hold on their summer programs.

“I say it all the time, they [our campers] possess a grit and a resilience in the face of adversity that I would love to have in my own life,” says Seney. “And I’m so proud to be a part of their lives and to watch them persevere, that this pandemic is a blip on our radar.”

This summer, they’re getting creative with three different ways for kids to be involved. They’ll have “Family Camp”, “Camp-In-A-Box”, and “MedCamps to You”.

“Family Camp” will take place during the weekends.

“Each weekend of the summer we will offer to 8 to 10 families, we’ll have activities that you would enjoy in camp,” explains Seney. “So a family would come out here to camp Alabama, they’ll set up in a cabin, we’ll provide them with meals, 3 meals a day and snacks, and then we’ll provide them with all the activities that our typical campers would get to experience like a zip line, canoeing, archery, all of that will be facilitated by our staff, so our campers now get the experience of showing mom and dad what they love so much out here.”

They’re bringing camp to a screen near you with their “Camp-In-A-Box” program.

“We will send you a box of supplies and you’ll have a designated week of camp and you’ll go through those activities at home with your family and in certain key instances you’ll log on online on zoom calls and interact with our staff.” Lastly, you can join them at multiple cities throughout the state for day camps during the week in their “MedCamps to You” program. “We will bring activities to them for a day or two days to go through so we have a mobile archery unit that we’ll put on, gaga ball, non-square in the air, all kinds of camp activities that we’re going to bring around the state,” says Seney. “Some of our local partners are like G.B. Cooley, we’re going to do two different sites for them.”

Even though this year is different, Seney says he’s excited to reach more kids who might not have been able to come to Camp Alabama before.

“We think it’s going to be a great recruitment tool for camp,” says Seney. “A lot of families may get over the hurdle of sending their child to a residential summer camp next summer because they participated in a little small day camp in their community.”

Seney says the “MedCamps to You” program will start in June, and throughout the summer they’re planning to visit Monroe, West Monroe, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and Alexandria.

Seney says they hope to continue their “MedCamps to You” program for years to come.

“If you’re interested in “MedCamps to You”, you run a facility or have a group home or something like that that that you would like for us to come and set up for you, you can get more information by contacting our offices at 877-282-0802 or by sending us an email to info@medcamps.org,” says Seney.

You can sign up here for Family Camp or Camp-In-A-Box.

For the families who take part in Family Camp, they’ll be able to see the newly renovated Hutton Hall, which was finished during the pandemic. “The investment that we’ve made to date is kind of a wow factor, for anybody who’s familiar with Camp Alabama when you come into this dining hall, it’ll take your breath away.”

They have more projects on the horizon that they’re trying to raise funds for as well. Stay tuned, we’ll have more on that in the coming days!

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