An ARC Gloucester Story:

Six Children at Camp

 

Thirteen years ago Ralph, Robert, Tony, Diane, Janet, and Tristen's mother passed away.  All six children, diagnosed with various developmental disabilities, were left in the care of their oldest sister Kim.  Overnight Kim's family of three, herself, husband, and young son, increased to a family of nine.  Kim immediately began to look into services that she could access to assist her family.  Camp Sun 'N Fun was one program that she was able to utilize for all six children at the same time.  In 2000, Ralph, Robert, Tony, Diane, Janet, and Tristen attended Camp Sun 'N Fun for the first time for a one-week session.  Tristen, the youngest, was Kim's biggest concern since he was only ten years old at the time.  Tristen and his siblings all had a great time.  Kim reports, "They enjoyed the fun, loving atmosphere while participating in arts & crafts, swimming and just being with counselors and peers of their age.  At the end of their session at camp, they cannot wait to return.  It is a great environment."  Kim adds, "because of the environment, I feel very comfortable sending them to Camp Sun 'N Fun.  I can rest, take a long needed break, and spend some quality time with my son and husband.  It is very important to be able to go away and leave my brothers and sisters with such caring individuals."  Kim's husband, John, agrees, "Camp is great.  Me and my wife and son can spend time together."

 

In 2001, Ralph, Robert, Tony, Diane, Janet, and Tristen attended for two weeks, and have done so every year since.  Since the Division of Developmental Disabilities will only pay for one week each, the camperships provided by United Way funding have paid for the additional week and provided a much-needed break for the family and an appropriate and enjoyable vacation for the six children. 

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