News

Friday, February 9, 2018 @ 7:36 am | (0) Comments

Changes coming for the Camp Blue Skies team

A note from Dick Sesler, founder of Camp Blue Skies

Jim LizI wanted to share some big news with you about the Camp Blue Skies team!

I am pleased to announce that Jim Guimond will become our Camp Director, a newly created position. As Camp Blue Skies enters our ninth year and continues our strong growth, the need for a Camp Director became more apparent. And we didn’t have to look far for the perfect person.

Jim, as many of you know, is a long-time volunteer and cabin counselor. He teaches the Balance Your Body program, which he created, during camp. His qualifications and passions make him the perfect fit to oversee camp operations and programming.

Jim, who lives in Charlotte, is a life coach, fitness technology consultant, personal trainer, and triathlete. He owns Live Well Charlotte LLC and co-owns Kinetic Heights, which offers weekly classes for those with developmental disabilities and hosts special events, like the one Camp Blue Skies had there in December.

Along with leadership development and fitness training, he works one-on-one and with groups of individuals with developmental disabilities. Jim has worked and volunteered with Special Olympics, Camp SOAR, The Exceptional Foundation of Charlotte, and Autism After 18.

Another change for our team is that Liz Rumbaugh will be leaving her position as Program Director to pursue a career as a life coach. She is one of the first people who came to work with us and helped shape what Camp Blue Skies has become.

Another change for our team is that Liz Rumbaugh will be leaving her position as Program Director to pursue a career as a life coach. She is one of the first people who came to work with us and helped shape what Camp Blue Skies has become.
Liz developed the schedule and curriculum, building our camp culture with fun and exciting programs. She brought together a diverse mix of talented program instructors. And she has been the energetic “voice” of camp. All of this has made a lifelong impact on campers and volunteers.

Our camp community will miss her dearly and wishes her the best of luck with her new career. She promises she will visit… and you know I’ll personally hold her to that.

Both Jim and Liz will be at the Georgia and Williams Syndrome sessions next month. Please join me in congratulating them!

by Crystal Dempsey

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 4:43 pm | (0) Comments

Camp Blue Skies programs provide fun, safe and meaningful experiences

Did you know each program activity at Camp Blue Skies is chosen with the intent to create a safe, fun and meaningful experience for our campers with developmental disabilities?

Life skills education is subtly woven into programming, giving everyone the opportunity to stretch their comfort zones and learn something new all while having the time of their lives.

The fact is, individuals with developmental disabilities are living longer. The life expectancy for Down Syndrome, for instance, has increased dramatically in recent decades from age 25 in 1983 to 60 today.

Through our programming,  we integrate life lessons in a fun and stimulating environment with the hope that campers return home equipped to lead more independent and fulfilling lives. The programs highlighted in the video include some of our most popular and innovative activities.

Camp Blue Skies is making a difference in the lives of an underserved population!

In this season of giving, please consider making a donation or volunteering your time.

Donate Today button Volunteer sign-up button

by Crystal Dempsey

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 8:48 am | (1) Comment

Join us Dec. 3 for Camp Blue Skies Fun @ Kinetic Heights in Charlotte!

Join us Sunday, Dec. 3, for some camp-style adventure and a chance to hang out with your Blue Skies friends and volunteers! Campers, families/caregivers and volunteers can take part in activities like the ropes course, zip line, climbing wall, and more at Kinetic Heights, an adventure sports center in Charlotte.

Camp Blue Skies Fun @ Kinetic Heights
When: Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017
Time: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Kinetic Heights, Providence Square Shopping Center, 5664 International Drive, Charlotte NC 28270 (directions).
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Deadline to register: Noon, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. 

Jim Guimond, the instructor for Balance Your Body at Camp Blue Skies and a long-time volunteer, will be our host. Jim is the fitness director and outreach coordinator at Kinetic Heights. Charlotte’s first and only indoor challenge center, Kinetic Heights offers 22,000 square feet of indoor obstacles and adventure.

by Crystal Dempsey

Thursday, October 26, 2017 @ 2:29 pm | (0) Comments

Hooked On Camp Fishing Derby raises over $23,000; record number of fish caught


Twenty anglers and 10 guides enjoyed a perfect fall day Sept. 29 for fishing on Lake Broyhill, the private lake at YMCA Camp Harrison, and raised more than $23,000 for Camp Blue Skies.

The participants broke the unofficial derby record for the total number of fish caught at 378 fish, which tops the 2012 derby record of 250. Watch the slideshow for highlights!

The annual fundraiser took place the day before Camp Blue Skies session 1 got underway at Camp Harrison. Camper Brandon Burrows joined the Derby and shared his Camp Blue Skies experiences with participants.

Among the Derby winners:
● Most Fish Caught: Keith Wall and Matt Hanson, 66.
● Biggest Largemouth Bass: Keith Westrick, 4 lbs., 2 oz.
● Biggest Bluegill: David Harker, 10.3 oz.
● Smallest Fish: Matt Hanson, 1 oz. (beating the second place by 1/10th of an ounce).

Special thanks to Brooks Runkle, Derby Chairman, and Gene Vaughan, Derby Captain!

Thank you to the following sponsors, donors, and guides for their support:

SPONSORS
REDLINE Design Group
Barringer Construction
Cox & Company
Dynamic Health & Pain Management
FS2 Flooring
Garmon & Company Commercial Flooring
Harker Doerre, LLC
John & Coletta Lenhart
Mannington Commercial
Poly-Tech Industrial, Inc.
Warco Construction

IN-KIND DONORS
Dish it Out Pottery Studio
Jesse Brown’s Outdoors
Lauren Reddick, Artist
Tipton Bar-B-Que
YMCA Camp Harrison

GUIDES
Kim Baker
Brian Dancy
Tom Hucks
Kevin Ingle
Todd Low
Todd Lynn
Jamie Morgan
John Morse
Wayne Spencer
Mark Vaughan

Mark your calendars for the 2018 Hooked On Camp Fishing Derby: Sept. 27-28! Want to reserve your boat now? Email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

by Crystal Dempsey

Saturday, October 7, 2017 @ 10:03 am | (0) Comments

Support Camp Blue Skies at Camp Twin Lakes fundraiser

A team of Camp Blue Skies supporters will be riding in the Spin For Kids event Oct. 15 to raise money for the Georgia and Williams Syndrome sessions held at Camp Twin Lakes.

Click here to support the Blue Skies the Limit team by making a donation.

Spin For Kids is Camp Twin Lakes’ annual fundraising bike ride that helps provide life-changing camp experiences. On Oct. 15 at Camp Twin Lakes – Rutledge, riders’ fundraising efforts culminate in a fun, fulfilling ride that winds through the scenic backroads of beautiful Morgan County, Georgia.

Camp Twin Lakes-Rutledge is the home of Camp Blue Skies-Georgia and Camp Blue Skies-Williams Syndrome in March.  Every $850 the Blue Skies the Limit team raises will make Camp Blue Skies a reality for an adult with a developmental disability.

Jacqueline Wabler, a Camp Blue Skies program leader and veteran volunteer, is the captain of the Blue Skies the Limit team. Emily Finn, Camp Blue Skies volunteer coordinator in Georgia, is helping with logistics. email hidden; JavaScript is required

Spin For Kids offers multiple routes for riders of all skill levels. Participants can choose from six scenic road routes: 5, 15, 27, 47, 62 or 100 miles. Along each route, riders enjoy delicious homemade goodies and local fare at rest stops, while a dedicated team of first aid, route marshals, and bike technicians keeps riders safe. Riders with young children can register their children to participate in the complimentary Day Camp.

Click here to support the Blue Skies the Limit team by signing up to ride or making a donation.

by Crystal Dempsey

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