Joy and laughter were abundant for everyone who participated in UCS’ ‘The Gathering Place Camp,’ from August 3rd to 7th during the week long stay at Camp Ondawa in Shaftsbury. Since 2006, The Gathering Place Camp has provided the backdrop for laughter, learning, and great life experiences for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
“All of our consumers really enjoy camp because it’s their camp, we provide a safe environment for them to have a great summer camp experience,” said Howie Wright, a manager with UCS’ Developmental Services Division. “Everyone has a smile on their face and they get to see friends that they sometimes only see here at camp.”
Around 100 people who receive services get the chance to visit throughout the week and many are given the option to stay overnight if they are comfortable staying at Ondawa. UCS staff provides services onsite to ensure the safety and needs of each individual are met during camp.
“I can’t wait for next year, I’ve already got my cabin all planned out,” said Sam, a first time camp participant who was overjoyed with the experience. “We’re all having a grand old time.”
“I have Autism and I’ve very proud to be Autistic,” said Stacey, who read out loud the words written on a necklace that he handmade during camp.
Camp Ondawa is sponsored by UCS and funding for the camp and activities is provided by support from generous donors.