On Friday, July 7, 2017, nearly 200 people will come together for a camp experience that transforms lives through crafts, canoeing, and conversation. What is profoundly different about this camp is that all of the attendees are living with limb loss and limb difference.
“We work hard to create a safe, nurturing environment that builds life skills,” says Tonya Osborne-Simpson, the Amputee Coalition’s Director of Peer Support. “In many cases our campers don’t have a peer with a similar experience nearby, and this may be the first time they get to meet other kids ‘just like them.’”
Due to the generosity of Amputee Coalition sponsors and donors, the camp was able to host near record-breaking numbers, with 147 campers aged 10-19 and 33 counselors scheduled to attend the 6-day camp. Groups like the Cincinnati Dreams Foundation and the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association make it possible for most campers to attend free of charge, including travel within the United States.
“Coming to camp is a chance for campers to challenge themselves in a secure environment,” says Jack Richmond, CEO and President of the Amputee Coalition. “Joining them this week is one of the most amazing things I get to do! Most importantly, I know that we are sending campers home with more confidence and the skills they need to thrive.”
Camp activities include fishing, swimming, zip lining, arts and crafts, canoeing, sitting volleyball, hiking, a high ropes course, dance, archery and more, all adapted for every body who is attending. 2017 is also the second Leadership Camp, with 17-18 year olds spending intensive time developing skills they can lean on as they go to college and make their place in their community.
The camp is held at the Joy Outdoor Education Center, located about an hour northeast of Cincinnati, Ohio.
To learn more about the Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp or to donate, please visit the Amputee Coalition Paddy Rossbach Youth camp Web site.