DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — It may be summer break, but some kids in Davidson County are choosing to spend part of theirs at a summer camp at Davis-Townsend Elementary.
“It’s fun! I get to hang out with friends meet new people from different schools,” says camper Brody Stovall.
There are a lot of things to do at the camp including arts and crafts and time outdoors.
“Our main goal is to make sure kids are having a great time and they’re safe. But, we come up with activities where all the kids can participate and be successful,” says James Price, a counselor at the camp.
Price says without even knowing it, the children are learning something that’s often difficult to teach: acceptance.
For the third year, the ARC of Davidson County has teamed up with Davidson County Parks and Rec to offer one inclusive summer camp for kids with special needs and kids with typical needs.
United Way of Davidson County helps fund the program, which only costs $5.00 a week.
Ira Matney’s 11-year old son Zane is a camper, who happens to have special needs. It’s his second summer here.
“A lot of stigma is stuck with things and people just don’t understand it. It [the camp] gives them [the kids] a chance to learn things they don’t understand and educate them,” Matney says.
Whether it’s over cupcakes, art projects or the jungle gym, the campers form friendships and discover they have more similarities with one another than differences.
“We, as adults, sometimes look at situations and we judge them by how they look and how they talk, but kids see everybody as the same. That’s what I like about it [the camp],” Price says.