Posts Tagged ‘camp blue skies’

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

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

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:

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

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

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.

Kinetic Heights to host Camp Blue Skies event Dec. 3

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017


Join Camp Blue Skies for an afternoon of fun on Sunday, Dec. 3, at Kinetic Heights, an indoor challenge center in Charlotte! Campers, their families and caregivers, and volunteers can take part in activities such as the high ropes course, zip line, climbing wall, and much more.

The Camp Blue Skies event is 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at Kinetic Heights, Providence Square Shopping Center, 5664 International Drive, Charlotte, NC 28270 (directions). Registration will begin Nov. 14. Watch your inboxes and social media for updates.

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, including a high ropes course, a Ninja Warrior course, a Parkour training area, a bouldering wall, a warped wall and zip lines.


Join the Camp Blue Skies team at the Let Them Soar 5K

Monday, September 25th, 2017

Lace up those sneakers and join our Camp Blue Skies team for the Let Them Soar! 5K to benefit The Exceptional Foundation of Charlotte, a nonprofit that provides programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The 5K race is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at Christ Covenant Church, 800 Fullwood Road, Matthews, NC. Camp Blue Skies is proud to be a sponsor of this event.

Click here to register for the Camp Blue Skies team. When you register, use the drop-down menu to find the Camp Blue Skies team.

If you’re a volunteer, camper or family member/caregiver, wear a shirt from camp to let everyone know you’re with the Camp Blue Skies team.

Want to help out at our information booth during the event? Email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Meet Blythe … and donate today to change a life!

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

The story of camper Blythe Wilson and her family validates Camp Blue Skies Foundation’s commitment to providing recreation, socialization and life skills education for adults with developmental disabilities. We hope you will consider a donation to Camp Blue Skies. Your contribution will help us continue our service to this underserved population.

Make A Donation

Blythe Wilson collage and quote

Blythe Wilson, 30, loves to read fiction series such as “Twilight” and “Divergent.” She writes stories, too. A bit of a thrill-seeker, she heads straight to roller coasters at amusement parks.

And she loves Camp Blue Skies, all of it. “The dancing, karaoke, arts/crafts… zipline… the climbing wall… the pottery wheel,” Blythe says. She loves seeing old friends and making new ones.

Blythe’s parents, Sara and Steven, say Camp Blue Skies is the miracle they needed. During her school years, Blythe was a social butterfly who enjoyed learning. After high school, she started to withdraw as the few opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities dwindled.

The Wilsons learned about Camp Blue Skies in 2011 while listening to the John Boy and Billy Show one morning on the way to work. “We were at our lowest point in trying to find something for Blythe when we heard Dick and Kit on the radio talking about camp,” says Sara. “This was like a divine intervention.”

Blythe Wilson climbing wall NC 2016The Wilsons were apprehensive registering Blythe for her first camp in 2012, but the professionalism of the staff, nurses and counselors put Sara and Steven at ease. Even better was Blythe’s smiles in the daily photo updates. She made lots of friends and found plenty of thrills in the zip line and high ropes course.

At camp this year, Blythe conquered new challenges (hello, climbing wall!) and helped welcome new campers. When she returned home, her parents noticed Blythe standing taller, chiming in on family jokes and looking people in the eyes.

“It’s a dream come true for Blythe,” Steven says. “That’s what you want for the people you love.”

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10 ways to support Camp Blue Skies

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Camp Blue Skies provides recreational and social opportunities, along with life skills education, to adults with developmental disabilities in a traditional camp setting in Georgia and North Carolina. Here are some ways to get involved and help this underserved population:

1. Make a donation!

Camper fees only cover a third of actual cost per camper. Click here to donate online. Call (704) 266-2267 or email hidden; JavaScript is required us to discuss giving opportunities. Also, ask if your workplace will match your gift.

Camp Blue Skies 2016 volunteeers

2. Volunteer for Camp

Sign up for all five days, for a few days or one day! Our incredible volunteers provide support and encouragement to adults with developmental disabilities. Opportunities range from cabin counselor to health services to program assistance to taking photos to being an extra set of hands.

Our sessions in 2017:

  • Georgia at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge: March 13-17
  • Williams Syndrome at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge: March 20-24
  • North Carolina No. 1 at YMCA Camp Harrison in Boomer: Sept. 30-Oct. 4
  • North Carolina No. 2 at YMCA Camp Harrison in Boomer: Oct. 7-Oct. 11


3. Play in Hoops For Camp bracket challenge

During the NCAA Basketball playoffs in mid-March, your brackets can make a difference in the life of an adult with developmental disabilities! Donate $25 or more to play Hoops For Camp NCAA Bracket Challenge online. Bonus: Great prizes! Interested? Click here to sign up for email alerts.

4. Spread the word

Founder Dick Sesler often says we all know someone who would benefit from camp. Tell your family, friends, book club, and golfing buddies. email hidden; JavaScript is required

5. Make your shopping do some good

AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to Camp Blue Skies. To connect your account, click here. You can also search for “Amazon Smile” on and then search for “Camp Blue Skies Foundation.” Once you connect your account, that’s it. After you make an AmazonSmile purchase, you will be prompted to share the news about your good deed to Facebook or email.

6. Buy supplies for Camp Blue Skies

After you connect your account to AmazonSmile, check out our “Wish List” for health center supplies, bingo prizes, games and more. Click here for the list.

Hooked On Camp Fishing Derby

7. Drop a line at the Hooked On Camp Fishing Derby

Our annual Hooked on Camp Fishing Derby fundraiser offers a morning of unparalleled large-mouth bass and bream fishing with professional guides on the private lake at YMCA Camp Harrison, home of Camp Blue Skies-North Carolina. In 2017, the Derby is Sept. 28-29, the days before the first North Carolina session. email hidden; JavaScript is required

8. Book a speaker

We’re available to speak at meetings, gatherings, lunches at work, or your house of worship. Interested? email hidden; JavaScript is required!

9. Get social with us

Connect with us on social media to keep up with the latest news about Camp Blue Skies and adults with developmental disabilities.

10. Become a Blue Skies Booster

The Boosters, a group of volunteers and supporters in Charlotte, help spread the word about our mission. They host special outings and fundraisers. email hidden; JavaScript is required We hope to establish a Georgia Boosters group in the future.

Apply Now Volunteer your time!

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