Domtar becomes first Camp Partner


Camp Blue Skies Foundation is pleased to announce Domtar will sponsor the nonprofit’s Oct. 1-5, 2016, session at YMCA Camp Harrison in Boomer, NC. Domtar is a leading provider of a wide variety of fiber-based products including communication, specialty and packaging papers, market pulp and absorbent hygiene products. With over 10,000 employees serving more than 50 countries around the world, Domtar’s principal executive office is in Fort Mill, SC.

Domtar’s contribution is the first ever Camp Partner sponsorship for Camp Blue Skies, a Charlotte-based nonprofit that provides a traditional camp experience and life skills programs to adults with developmental disabilities. Domtar employees will volunteer during the week and will play an important role in the success of camp and the experience the campers have.

Domtar has a rich history of charitable giving and volunteering, having supported camp for the last two years,” says Dick Sesler, founder of Camp Blue Skies. “As we considered corporations who might make excellent camp partners, Domtar was at the top of the list.”

It is estimated between 7 and 8 million Americans, or 3 percent of the general population, experience intellectual disabilities. Nearly 30 million people, one in 10 families, are affected by a person with intellectual disabilities at some point in their lifetime.

Recreational and social opportunities diminish once individuals with developmental disabilities reach adulthood, which often leads to physical and emotional isolation. Sesler experienced this firsthand as his son, Brent, who has Williams Syndrome, became an adult. After researching existing programs, Sesler discovered a niche that would have a lasting impact on campers, volunteers, parents and caregivers.

Domtar President/CEO John Williams

Domtar President/CEO John Williams

“Domtar believes in strengthening communities and supporting Camp Blue Skies will improve the lives of adults with developmental disabilities and their families,” says John Williams, Domtar’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The safe, fun camp environment challenges adults to gain confidence and teaches them skills in order to live more independently. And it is a wonderful opportunity for Domtar employees to contribute to such a great cause."

Camp Blue Skies provides weeklong sessions to 60-70 adults with developmental disabilities in the fall at YMCA Camp Harrison, near Wilkesboro, NC, about 90 minutes northwest of Charlotte, and in the spring at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, GA., about 45 minutes east of Atlanta.

Campers can participate in recreational activities including fishing, nature walks, high ropes course and field games. Social activities range from an opening night campfire to a variety show. Life skills education includes fitness and nutrition programs, arts/crafts and team building activities.

Adults with developmental disabilities pay a $350 fee to attend Camp Blue Skies. The true cost averages $1,500 per camper to rent facilities and cabins, pay for meals and program supplies, and provide medical and program staffing. Domtar’s generous Camp Partner sponsorship will offset the deficit for a session.