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As we write this post, the thermometer reads 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the temperature is far from balmy, we can’t stop thinking about afternoon swimming, vibrant sunsets and gooey s’mores. We know that it may be a bit too early to think about camping in this part of the country, but that isn’t going to stop us from commemorating National Camp Week.
During the second week of February, the American Camp Association hosts the ACA National Conference and has put National Camp Week on the calendar. The ACA is a community of camp professionals who come together to exchange knowledge and expertise to ensure the quality of camp programming. The organization wholeheartedly believes that the camp experience is essential to every child’s growth and development.
Don’t be surprised if that sentiment sounds familiar. Lion Ray Hempel had similar feelings when founding the Wisconsin Lions Camp back in 1956. He personally believed that attending camp would give special children the resources, skills and experiences that would last them far beyond their childhoods. That’s why the American Camp Association and Wisconsin Lions Camp are a seamless fit.
We may not be traveling to San Diego to attend this year’s conference, but we too are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2020 camping season. Each year, approximately 1,300 special campers with vision, hearing, intellectual disabilities or autism and Type 1 and 2 Diabetes visit Rosholt for a safe and memorable experience at the Wisconsin Lions Camp.
Each camper has the opportunity for a comprehensive outdoor program, which includes (but is certainly not limited to) participating in overnight camping, learning about protecting the environment, canoeing, hiking, swimming, sailing and kayaking. The overarching goals of Lions Camp are to assist each camper in developing self-confidence, interdependence, social skills, outdoor recreational skills and environmental awareness. But above all, we want them to have fun and come back again.
Last year, we were proud to help send 150 children to the Wisconsin Lions Camp with the help of our generous supporters. Will you help us send them again in 2020? Consider donating to Lions Pride Endowment Fund, to help us carry on the beloved summer tradition in perpetuity. We cannot thank you enough for your continued support.
Sending you warm, summer thoughts during National Camp Week!