To make a difference in the lives of children with limb loss and limb difference by increasing their self-confidence and self-esteem through a traditional and supportive summer camp experience.
To become the national model in summer camp programs for children with limb loss and limb difference.
The Camp Experience
Fishing poles. Arts and crafts. Ice cream raids. Campfires. These are all important ingredients in the Amputee Coalition youth and leadership camps. Even more important are the lasting friendships and the personal growth. By blending counselors who live with limb difference or limb loss and an accessible traditional camp, you get an incredible, transforming experience for the more than 100 campers who attend every year.
Since 2000, the Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp has served kids age 10 to 17. Three years ago, we added the Leadership Camp to help 18- and 19-year-olds acquire life skills as they transition from high school to college and careers. They also serve as mentors during the discussion groups that cover topics in a way that only others living with limb loss or difference really understand.
Campers come from across the United States to take on the ropes course and the rock climbing wall, to play volleyball and other team sports, and to be “normal” for one week out of the summer. The effects last much longer, since 100 percent of parents tell us they want their child to return.
Each night, the camp hosts social events that offer campers the opportunity to enjoy dancing, performing, role-playing and other activities without the fear of feeling different.
Loads of Activities
FISHING • CANOEING • ARCHERY • TEAM FIELD SPORTS • SITTING VOLLEYBALL
ROCK CLIMBING WALL • SWIMMING • BASKETBALL • CREATIVE ARTS • EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Check Out Past Camp Videos
The Amputee Coalition arranges travel plans for all camp attendees, including scheduling and purchasing flights. The Coalition follows current airline industry flight rules in purchasing special escort services for campers who are under 15. This service ensures that younger campers are escorted by a parent or guardian to their departure gate and are picked up at the gate upon their return back home.
The Amputee Coalition also works closely with the airlines and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure the best possible flight experience for our campers. The TSA designates specific security screening lines for our campers to help reduce screening time and avoid delays on the day of departure.
All campers are met by our counselors or staff at their arrival gate. For many campers, this is their first flying experience and we work hard to make sure it is a good one!
Camp Counselors and Supervision
All camp activities are facilitated by trained staff members of the Amputee Coalition or Camp Joy Outdoor Education Center. Children get expert instruction on activities and Joy Outdoor Education Center staff members are trained to meet camp industry standards. Most of the Amputee Coalition Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp counselors are former youth camp attendees and/or amputees themselves, which enhances the camp experience with role models and mentors who truly understand growing up with limb loss or limb difference. These relationships help encourage campers to try new things and build their self-confidence.
All counselors are volunteers and dedicate a week of their time to actively participate in and lead this event. Many of our counselors take time out from their college education or jobs to volunteer because they have found the experience so personally rewarding.
Counselors are chosen for their ability to relate to the campers, their experience working with this age group, and their desire to give back to the community that has supported them. The Amputee Coalition conducts background checks on all counselors.
The Amputee Coalition Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp began in 2000 as the Youth Initiative. The Youth Initiative was originally a satellite program offered at the Annual Amputee Coalition Educational Conference & Exposition. Realizing the need to have specific programming for its youth members, the Amputee Coalition developed the Youth Initiative to help provide a support group for youths with limb loss or limb difference. The Youth Initiative was held in conjunction with the conference from 2000 until 2002, when it became known as the Amputee Coalition Youth Camp, run by the Youth Activities Program (YAP).
When concerns of security and privacy for the youths were addressed, the camp was moved to an off-site venue in 2003. In 2004, the camp was separated from the conference due to the difficulty of hosting two national events at the same time. The camp was held at Camp Dream in Warm Springs, Georgia, from 2005 until 2007, when we outgrew the facility. In 2008, the Amputee Coalition Youth Camp moved to the Joy Outdoor Education Center in Ohio. This facility offered new activities and more space so that the camp could accommodate more campers.
In the fall of 2009, the Youth Camp name was changed to honor Paddy Rossbach, former Amputee Coalition president and CEO, who was instrumental in developing the program.
If you are interested in being added to our camp mailing list or want to learn more about our programs, please contact the program manager at 888/267-5669, ext. 8103, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to support this incredible program and see to it that the camp will impact the lives of youths for years to come, you can make a tax-deductible donation today.