Founder Dick Sesler shared the story of how Camp Blue Skies and the impact on the lives of campers, parents/caregivers and volunteers with reporter Karen Garloch in an article in The Charlotte Observer. Here’s one excerpt about the camps serving adults with developmental disabilities:
Sesler considered buying some land and starting his own camp. But after talking with camp directors across the country, he realized he could just rent existing campgrounds during the off season, when children were in school. People like Brent (Dick’s son), no longer subject to school vacation schedules, could go anytime.
“Wherever there are blue skies,” Sesler said, “we could have camp.”
Brandon Burrows, who has been to at least two sessions every year, told The Observer that camp “has made me a better person inside and out. I can now be more outgoing, and I have more friends.”
Burrow’s mother, Adria Appleby, was also interviewed. She has volunteered at sessions in the past and will be there again in October.
For parents whose children still live at home, Appleby said the camp provides a well-deserved respite. She recalled hearing from one mother who said it was the first time in 22 years that she was able to spend three nights alone with her husband. More than 90 percent of the campers return every year.
“I think I get more out of it than the campers do,” Appleby said. “The campers make you feel so special. You feel like you’re making a difference in people’s lives.”
Click here to read the article online. Click here to download a PDF of the print version of the story.
Thanks to Karen Garloch and The Charlotte Observer.