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 Amputee Coalition’s 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 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year, the Amputee Coalition Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp provides fun and exciting sports, recreation and social activities for campers. The camp experience includes a variety of activities such as a fully accessible ropes course where every child can set his or her own personal level of challenge. Peer discussion groups facilitated by older campers and amputee mentors help our young campers learn that they are not alone.
The Camp Experience
We have also developed leadership training for campers 15 to 17 years old to to prepare them to be camp counselors and leaders in their schools and communities. 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.
Other activities include:
- Team field sports
- Sitting volleyball
- Rock climbing wall
- Creative arts
- Educational programs
Who Is Eligible?
- Youths 10-17 years of age who have limb loss or limb difference
Travel to the Amputee Coalition Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp
The Amputee Coalition arranges travel plans for all camp attendees. This includes scheduling and purchasing flights for campers.
The Amputee 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 to their departure gate.
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 any 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.
Camp Counselors & Oversight
All camp activities are facilitated by trained staff members of the Amputee Coalition or Joy Outdoor Education Center. Children are provided expert instruction on activities, and Joy Outdoor Education Center staff members are trained according to camping industry standards. Most of the Amputee Coalition Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp counselors are former youth camp attendees and/or are amputees themselves. This provides an opportunity for campers to learn from and be inspired by those who have been where they are. The mentoring relationship that develops between counselors and campers helps to reduce campers’ reluctance to try new activities and gives them greater confidence in using their own abilities. All counselors are volunteers and dedicate a week of their time to help with this event. Camp counselors participate in all activities and encourage by example. Many of our camp counselors take time out from their college education or jobs to volunteer because they have found the experience so rewarding and influential on the lives of children with limb loss or limb difference.
Counselors are chosen for their ability to relate to the campers, their experience working with youths and their desire to give back to the community that has supported them. The Amputee Coalition conducts background checks on all counselors.