Campers love attending the first-ever Camp Shriver in Onslow County, NC.
Camp E-Ma-Etu was the place. Sports, learning, fun and teamwork was the goal. The first-ever Camp Shriver in Onslow County took place June 18-21 and it was a huge success! Special Olympics Onslow County hosted the camp with support from the Department of Defense. The camp’s purpose was to provide sports, recreational and enrichment activities for all the campers, while improving their sports and social skills to increase their self esteem. The camp was free for athletes with intellectual disabilities ages 8 and up, as well as Project UNIFY buddies from various Onslow County schools.
The camp accommodated 24 overnight athletes, 12 non-disabled overnight campers and 25 day campers. Campers were able to enjoy everything a typical summer camp offers including: outdoor movies, campfires, dining hall meals, sports activities and fun. Every day a different sport (softball, bocce, golf, tennis, swimming, volleyball, bowling, flag football, surfing) was featured for the campers to learn and play. A popular sport with everyone was surfing. The Emerald Isle Surf Riding Foundation donated their time and boards to help the campers try to ride the waves. MacDaddy’s in Cape Carteret opened their doors for a day of bowling.
The campers also took time out during the week for crafts and learned how to tie-dye their shirts, as well as play some inside games such as checkers, Duck-Duck Goose, and more. They were teamed up by color and had fun creating clever nicknames for their group like Green Lantern, Orange Cheese Puffs, Blue Lightning, and Pink Polos! Each group had a team leader, as well as several Project UNIFY buddies on their team who helped them with all the activities. It was unanimous - surfing, flag football and volleyball were the favorite activities. And s ‘mores were by far the best snacks served!
The camp created an atmosphere of understanding and caring. Campers with and without disabilities developed close friendships, a respect and admiration.
About Wendy Miller: I am the Coastal Plains Area Director for Special Olympics NC and am super proud of everyone in Onslow County that helped make this camp such a success!